Chase’s Buddy Bench

Lindsey Kemmerling, Staffer

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“Because Chase was an amazing buddy to his teammates and friends at school, we have a buddy bench.” A memorial buddy bench at the Pine Grove Area Elementary School was dedicated to Chase Morgan.   Kindergarten to fifth grade, Chase’s family, as well as two of his coaches, were in attendance.

The ceremony began with a speech from the elementary school principal, Mrs. Burns. It was then followed with a short video in Chase’s memory. Mr. Lengle, Chase’s basketball coach, and Larry Brown, another one of Chase’s coaches, gave speeches about Chase. “Chase had a smile that would light up a room,” Mr. Lengle told the audience. “Chase was a kid who loved getting around, smiled everyday and going outside,” said Mr. Brown. To better explain the concept of a  Buddy Bench some teachers put together a short skit.

Lastly, the students were able to go outside and see the Buddy Bench. Sitting on the bench was a picture of Chase and a small red box. Students were asked to put little notes in the box.

The Buddy Bench was created to eliminate loneliness on the playground and give students a chance to meet new people. According to buddybench.org, the Buddy Bench itself came to be because of a boy named Christian. He saw a special bench on a playground at a school overseas. He thought it was a great idea and took the idea to his principal. The principal said they would look into it and the fall of the next school year, his school had a bench. This caught media attention and schools across the country loved the idea.