BOISE, Idaho — A high school student from Idaho City decided to do something extra special for her senior project: she put together a barbeque and fishing event for veterans earlier in June at Spring Shores Marina at Lucky Peak.
"This is my adopt a veteran for the day," Hailey Highland said. "Everyone gets fed and gets to go fishing The weather is perfect for today. I figured I would take them out of the city and let them have a relaxing day."
Highland will be a senior at Idaho City High School this year, so she decided to get started on her senior project early and dedicate it to veterans.
"At my school, no one has ever done anything with their senior projects for our veterans, so I thought, 'This is a good idea,'" she said.
Highland said one of the reasons she decided to thank Idaho veterans for their service is because her mother is a veteran.
"I'm a proud mom," said Highland's mom, Alexandria Highland. "'I'm a Navy veteran and I just think for a kid to come out and say, 'Mom, I think I want to do that for my senior project - what do you think?' I think that's a great idea, there are a lot of veterans that would like to go fishing."
Highland reached out to local businesses for sponsors and donations and the community was happy to step up and help. She then turned her attention to getting the word out.
"We got a hold of the VA and we got a bunch of veterans to come out," she said. "We put stuff on social media."
Highland rounded up sponsors and "adopted" 32 local veterans. There was fishing, a barbeque, and even pontoon boat rides. She said the veterans were so appreciative of her hard work to make the day so special.
"A lot of them were really excited about what I did," she said. "They said 'Thank you for having us come out, we really appreciate being able to come out and fish.'"
She wants them all to know how loved and appreciated they are.
"Veterans are heroes. They have sacrificed so much and put their own life aside to defend our country," Highland said.
Highland's mother was really impressed with what her daughter put together. She was there to help out where she could.
"She took a project that's started out kind of small, and it's become pretty big. She's a good kid," Alexandria Highland said.
Highland told KTVB she wants her project to send a message to people all over Idaho.
"I'm just hoping that this will inspire people to take a day, and spend it with one of our veterans," said Highland.
Here's a list of all the sponsors who made the day possible:
- The Young Marines
- George Pawning
- Steven Danielson
- Tamara Andrews
- Idaho City Grocery
- Bobby Matthews
- Charlie Haupt
- Matt & Juanita
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