Metro-east is painted Kahok purple for Collinsville teen who died

A first-grader at Webster Elementary School wasn’t going to let sickness stop him from giving back to the family of the Collinsville High School freshman who died last month.

The Collinsville elementary students pay $1 to participate in themed activities at school every month, and for September, that money was donated to 14-year-old Tray Turner’s family. Tray fell on stairs at the high school on Sept. 19 and died as a result of his injuries later that week at Cardinal Glennon Children’s Hospital in St. Louis.

The first grader, 6-year-old Aden Hays, was going to be absent on fundraising day because he wasn’t feeling well, Collinsville Unit 10 School District said in a post to social media. So Aden asked his mom to take his money — $5 — to school for him.

Altogether, the students donated almost $500 to Tray’s family, which the district said is more than twice what they usually collect for these events.

But that’s just one example of how students and community members from across the metro-east have shown their support of the Turner family and of Collinsville High School as it mourns the loss of a student. KAHOKstrong, a Collinville High School student organization that supports students in need, has been recording more examples on its Facebook page.

The organization stated that CHS student athletic teams and clubs could be seen wearing wristbands, stickers and ribbons on the fields and courts and in the halls. Students also wore red T-shirts for a day in Tray’s honor because his favorite color was red.

Father McGivney Catholic High School in Glen Carbon helped out by making a donation to KAHOKstrong, which collected money the Turner family.

Belleville East and West High Schools sent flower arrangements to Collinsville High School, and the Shiloh Education Association dropped off bagels and cream cheese.

Students and staff in Edwardsville wore purple, Collinsville’s school color, to show their support.

Local businesses had fundraisers and donated money to Tray’s family. Among those businesses were Glazy Squares, Culvers, FCB, and Jack Schmitt, all in Collinsville, as well as Brinley Orthodontics and Foley Dental Group, both in Maryville.

Ravanelli’s and Fazzi’s donated food for a luncheon that followed Tray’s funeral services on Sept. 26.

Cullop Jennings donated helium for the balloons sold at the homecoming football game against Granite City High School. The fans from Granite City wore purple ribbons and hearts to that game, and their student council also made a donation to KAHOKstrong. The CHS football booster club made a donation to Tray’s family, which it raised in a 50/50 raffle during the game.

Purple lightbulbs sold at the game were donated by Batteries & Bulbs in Glen Carbon. Everyone who purchased a bulb was asked to keep it lit until Oct. 1 in honor of Tray.

Band to perform among most talented youth

The O’Fallon Township High School marching band was invited to perform among the most talented student performers from across the nation.

More than 180 O’Fallon students will travel to Miami for the Orange Bowl, under director Melissa Gustafson-Hinds. They will be the featured high school marching band in the pregame show.

To help the students in their fundraising efforts, contact Lisa Walters at

You can see manufacturing in action

Learn more about new technology, educational programs, career opportunities, products and services during a manufacturing day open house Oct. 14, at Southwestern Illinois College.

The event will take place from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the SWIC Sam Wolf Granite City Campus, 4950 Maryville Road. A welcome ceremony begins at 9 a.m.

More than 1,000 local high school students are expected to attend. It is free and open to the public.

Guest speakers will include David Boulay, president of the Illinois Manufacturing Excellence Center and Illinois Performance Excellence, and Don Vichitvongsa, general manager of SunCoke Energy.

At the open house, visitors can tour the newly renovated precision machining technology, electrical/electronics, welding technology, and heating, ventilation, air conditioning and refrigeration labs; and see first-hand how computerized machining, robotic welding and 3-D printing equipment is changing technical education and manufacturing.

There will also be an opportunity for visitors to test their skills with a virtual welder and talk with more than 25 area manufacturers.

For more information, visit or call the SWIC Technical Education Division at 618-931-0600, ext. 7476.

Join teachers union at ‘walk in’

Granite City teachers, students and parents plan to join a national movement this week to promote public education as the “gateway to democracy and economic justice.”

On Thursday, they will take part in the “Alliance to Reclaim Our Schools” event along with supporters in cities across the U.S.

The community is invited to meet at 7:15 a.m. Thursday in front of the Memorial Gymnasium at Granite City High School, 3101 Madison Ave. Among those who will be in attendance are Granite City Federation of Teachers Local 743 President Chuck Noud; Granite City Superintendent Jim Greenwald; State Rep. Dan Beiser (D-Alton), and members of the Local 743.

Noud, of Local 743, stated in a news release that the event will begin with people sharing their visions of Granite City schools; Afterward, they will walk into the school together.

Voter registration tables will also be available for participants at the event.

Lexi Cortes: 618-239-2528, @lexicortes

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