Students at Southeast Bulloch High School will remember a Stilson family that died tragically in a home fire Dec. 28 with an event they hope will keep others in the community safe. Russell and Wendi Davis, and their two daughters, Susannah and Haley, perished in the fire.
Called Project SAFE, the event will take place Tuesday from 4-7 p.m. in the SEB cafeteria and commons area. Students have partnered with many of Bulloch County’s public safety providers to educate families on farm safety, fire safety, electrical safety and more. SAFE stands for Safety Awareness for Family Emergencies.
“Everything we’re doing is in honor of the Davis family,” said Jessica Bearden, a student at SEB.
A freshman at the University of Georgia, Susannah Davis graduated from Southeast Bulloch in 2011. Haley Davis was a junior at SEB when she died.
Bearden and classmate Kelsey Woods planned the event as part of a Family, Career and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA) community service project. They have garnered support from the FFA chapter and student council and involved many other student organizations to help host various areas of the event.
Leading up to Tuesday’s Project SAFE, students held a 9-volt battery drive to stress to families the importance of properly installed smoke detectors.
“Small details, like a battery in a smoke detector, can save lives,” Bearden said.
They collected nearly 100 batteries along with monetary donations to buy additional batteries.
“The students have raised more than $1,800 to help purchase batteries,” said Dr. Trey Robertson, principal at SEB.
The batteries will be donated to Nevils, Stilson and Brooklet Elementary students to take home. A group of Southeast Bulloch students gave up part of their winter break last week to gather and package the batteries.
“We’re including fire safety tips for parents and an encouragement to change the batteries in their smoke detectors regularly,” Bearden said.
Also, during Tuesday’s SAFE workshop, there will be activities to teach children about bike safety and stranger danger.
“Safety was a big deal before, but with the loss of the Davis family, it’s even more important to our community now,” Bearden said.
Every club at SEBHS has come together to make Project SAFE a reality, said SEB teacher and FCCLA advisor Jackie Merrill.
“Haley Davis was my friend,” Bearden said. “If what we’re doing can help save one life, it’s worth it.”
Planned events will provide children and adults fire, electrical, farm and more safety tips. For more information, contact (912) 842-8440.
“It’s our hope that the whole community will come out and enjoy fun activities after school and learn how to be safe in the process,” Bearden said.