Event planned to honor South View student, teacher killed - WNCN: News, Weather

Event planned to honor South View student, teacher killed

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Students gathered around the flag pole at South View High School to pray about the death of Danielle Locklear. Students gathered around the flag pole at South View High School to pray about the death of Danielle Locklear.
FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. -

Students at South View High School in Cumberland County have organized an event to honor student Danielle Locklear and teacher William Parnell III.

Locklear was murdered in March and Parnell died in a car crash on May 9.

The event is a talent show that is aimed at being an uplifting way to bring the school community together while also remembering Locklear and Parnell.

The show is May 29 at 6:30 p.m. in the South View High School auditorium. Admission is $3, and proceeds will go toward a memorial for Locklear and Parnell.

Half of the remaining money will be donated to the Fayetteville Dream Center, and the other half will go to the school's "Paws for a Cause" organization. The Dream Center provides various types of support for people in need. Paws for a Cause helps underprivileged students at the school.

"It's still a really tough road to go through, and with the good Lord's help we're still trying to manage," said Locklear's grandmother Kelly Heegel.

She also said support from the community has helped her family, so she was happy to hear about the talent show. She sees it as another way to remember Locklear outside of a somber setting.

"We know she's not here, but just to have her in our thoughts and prayers and everything is just so wonderful," Heegel said. "She would just be laughing and going on with everybody else -- having fun [at the show]."

South View's Christian student group, Reaching the Unreached Student Harvest, organized the talent show. The group's adviser, Christopher Hale, said the students wanted to do more after organizing prayer meetings after Locklear was found dead and after Parnell's crash.

"It was initiated by students. They wanted to come together and do something good out of this tragedy, and what was the best way to let the students not only initiate it but also host it, lead it and be a part of every aspect of it. So they’re going to put on a talent show," Hale explained. "The take away I want the students and staff and even the community to have is that tragedy happens -- it's a part of life -- but out of tragedy you can turn things into good."

So Hale has been working with the students. He said several local businesses have contributed donations to make the show a successful event. He has acquired bottled water, fast food vouchers, snack foods, sodas and other refreshments, and prizes.

"We're hoping we can avoid some of the things we went through -- some of the tragedies. Maybe us coming together like this will touch the heart, the mind of some other child out there -- make them think twice about violence," commented Heegel's sister, Chena Simmons. "This event that's being put together may give them another frame of mind. We just want to help uplift people."

Heegel and Simmons said they would plan to attend, along with other members of their family. Hale said Parnell's wife is also planning to attend with family members.

"This has been a very trying time for our family -- Danielle Locklear's family -- and I'm sure Mr. Parnell's family going through the tragedies and both at the same school," Simmons said. "So the students there have really gone through a lot, and I just want people to know you just have to keep the faith, move forward and there is light at the end of the tunnel."

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Brandon Herring

Brandon is a North Carolina native and UNC alum who lives in Fayetteville, and covers Cumberland County and the Sandhills. Returning to North Carolina to work as a journalist is a dream come true for Brandon. More>>

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