Beech Grove High School’s faculty event coordinators and members of the student leadership council have been active in promoting Friday’s “Swish for Rish” benefit. The staffers are (front, from left) Ryan Morgan, Garrett Daniel, Quinten Starks; (back) Josh Porter, Michael Jennings, Tommy Pich, Evan Smiley, Chase Andries, Kyli Luna, Demonte Dawkins, Baylee Lahey, David Corbin, Michele Jennings and McKenzie Marschke.
Southsider Voice correspondent
Beech Grove high schoolers who knew and admired the late David Rish want the community and all area students to have fun at a special event in honor of him on Friday at the school’s gymnasium.
Rish, a freshman, died March 16 after succumbing to a rare but fatal ailment. He was known as an exceptional student and served as manager of the basketball team.
“He didn’t want to miss a class, no matter how badly he was hurting,” said senior Baylee Haley, who was his mentor last year on a tour of the high school by eighth-graders.
Haley was approached after Rish’s death by two students who wanted to hold a special basketball game as a memorial to him. She approached Principal Steve Cox, who pitched the idea to the student leadership council.
Council members began planning and promoting a unique event, “Swish for Rish,” as a way to help the Rish family with medical expenses and to honor David.
The extravaganza unfolds at 6 p.m. and will feature a basketball game between seniors and faculty members, live music, food, prizes and an auction for such items as Indiana Pacers memorabilia and four tickets to the Indianapolis 500. Admission is $3 per person or $12 for families of four or more members. Commemorative T-shirts were sold last week.
The Hornets, a team consisting of senior boys and girls from the varsity squads, will face the faculty all-stars of teacher-coaches Garrett Daniel, Anthony Osborne, Jim Cross and Lindsey Hall, band director Corey Wynn and Beech Grove Middle School coach Amy Parker.
The student team features Michael Jennings, Caleb Chumley, Joe Cardenas, Jalen Dyson, Zach Zoellner, Joe Pich, Kayla Kaiser, Taylor Peavey and Shannon Newerth.
A special basketball game in the gymnasium is the perfect place to honor Rish, according to the council.
Haley, Jennings, Michelle Jennings and Chase Andries are among members of the school’s reinvigorated student council. Swish for Rish is their biggest event to date.
They remember Rish as a student who loved basketball, a good student.
“He was over-the-top nice, a great kid,” Michael Jennings said. His sister, Michelle, a freshman, was a friend of Rish’s.
“We had several classes together,” she said. “He was so sweet; you never knew he was having a bad day. He always had a smile on his face.”
His smiling photo is on the pamphlets that promote the event.
He is survived by his mother, Alma Ris h, and sister, Sarah. A memorial service was held March 21 at Little & Sons Funeral Home in Beech Grove.
His life will be celebrated a little more on Friday.