KATY MAGAZINE NEWS
July 29, 2019
By Jennifer Miko
After a recent news story about six teens burglarizing and partying in a vacationing family's home, this story of teens doing good captured our attention and we couldn't wait to share it with our readers.
Over the weekend, players from the Tompkins High School football team and members of the Seven Lakes High School varsity cheerleading squad surprised a special Katy girl on her 16th birthday.
Tompkins High School football players celebrate a Katy girl's Sweet 16.
A Sweet 16 Birthday Wish
Katy mom Teri Dunn posted a heartfelt message on a social media group page that caught the attention of other moms. She told the story of how she and her daughter Abby were watching the news Wednesday and saw a football team attend boy’s birthday party because no one showed up. Abby, a sophomore at Tompkins High School, then asked her mother if the Tompkins team could come to her birthday party.
"Abby, I don't think so," Dunn told her daughter. "How do we explain that to her that the football team can't come to her house?"
Tompkins Football Steps Up
Dunn later decided, it couldn't hurt to ask. So she posted the message on the Ladies Group of Cross Creek Ranch Facebook page. She was contacted by a football team mom who reached out to Tompkins football coach, Todd McVey.
"I know it's a long shot," Dunn says, "I didn't think it would really happen."
Rivals Come Together
Later that day, Dunn got a message telling her some football players would be at Abby’s party this weekend. She also heard from Amy Weaston, the Head Cheer Coach from Seven Lakes High School (SLHS), who asked if her cheerleaders could attend the party too.
"How awesome would it be to get two rival schools together at one party?" recalls Dunn.
Weaston approached her varsity cheerleaders about Abby's party. Some of the girls knew Abby when she attended Seven Lakes Junior High. The response was overwhelming, and Weaston had to limit the number of girls to seven. The cheerleaders then took the initiative to find out Abby's favorite colors and foods and prepared a gift basket for her.
"This was the best 16th birthday party they have ever been to," says Weaston. "Everybody loves Abby. She is a beautiful girl with a great spirit and generous heart. We are so beyond blessed that we were able to be a part of it."
The Big Surprise
Friends and family gathered at the house Saturday, including Abby's teacher, Ms. Evans. Dunn told them she had a special surprise planned and to come early.
"The doorbell rang, and there stood eight football players," Dunn says. "I was just overwhelmed. People were behind me crying, and I told Abby, 'Your team is here.' She was beside herself."
Hanging with Abby
R.J. Smith, senior and Tompkins football captain said: "As Falcons, one of our core values is family. When we got there, we introduced ourselves, jumped in the pool, jumped on the trampoline and ate burgers and hot dogs and had a great time. It was an amazing experience."
A little while later, the family was surprised again, when seven cheerleaders, in full uniform arrived at the door. Dunn said the kids had fun spraying Silly String and they all jumped in the pool wearing their uniforms.
"I think the best part of all of it, the football boys gave her a miniature signed football helmet, even with the coach's name," says Dunn. "The cheerleaders brought a big food basket with gift cards and pretzels and Goldfish."
Paying it Forward
"We talk about how blessed we are at Tompkins and how we want to humbly help others and serve the community, says Todd McVey, Head Football Coach, Tompkins High School. "It is important to "pay it forward" so we pave the way for the next generation of athletes to do the same."
Weaston is very proud of her cheerleaders and the compassion and spirit they showed.
"These kids have such sweet spirits and they just wanted to make her day special, says Weaston. "These are the leaders of tomorrow, they are good people."
"We talk about servant leadership a lot," says Coach McVey. "Our quote is, 'If serving is below you then leadership is beyond you.'"
“Abby now calls the Tompkins players ‘her team’,” says Dunn." But then she said 'Basketball boys next year!'"
"It was great to be a part of her birthday and take her flowers," says Tompkins player Trayden Herrman. "It's a memory I'll never forget."
"We hope that when Abby goes back to school that she's included more," Dunn says, "and the kindness that was shown that day will continue throughout the school year, at Tompkins and throughout the community."