Honoring Sammy’s legacy
On Jan. 21, 2013, Kings lost a caring and charismatic little girl who touched the lives of all those around her. Her name is Sammy Reagan, and this Nov. 7, she would have celebrated her 14th birthday as an eighth-grader at Kings Junior High.
Though she may be gone, she is surely not forgotten. In their ongoing mission to honor Sammy’s memory, parents Jill and Bill Reagan, of South Lebanon, along with their two boys, Jack and Brian, have found numerous ways to give back to the community. These efforts have led them to form The Sammy Reagan Foundation.
“Due to her love and enjoyment she received throughout the community, we felt it would honor Sammy’s wishes to begin with creating change within the Kings Local School District,” said Jill Reagan in an interview with The Knight Times.
Soon after they had the idea for a foundation, the couple heard from another popular local non-profit organization, Joshua’s Place. In honor of Sammy, Joshua’s Place developed a Learning and Technology Resource Center in South Lebanon which they named “Sammy’s Place.” It is a place for kids to go to do their homework after school and receive free tutoring.
The Reagans created The Sammy Reagan Foundation to provide equal opportunity for all children despite their economic background. On the website, their mission states:
“The Sammy Reagan Foundation will identify underfunded children’s projects in the Kings Community and provide financial assistance and volunteers to progress projects to completion to honor Sammy’s memory, continue her work and fulfill the Foundation’s vision.”
Jill and Bill wanted all the proceeds to go back to the community, and that’s just what they’ve done.
“Sammy’s Foundation’s focus is within the King’s community and schools first,” Jill said.
Some projects the foundation has sponsored over the past 18 months include: donating two pieces of playground equipment to Columbia Intermediate School, building a new asphalt track at South Lebanon Elementary named “Sammy’s Track,” providing a scholarship each year to a senior who portrays Sammy’s outstanding qualities, provided funding for schools and sporting events, and donating food, transportation, and resources to families in the community.
There is also a soccer tournament called “The Cincy Challenge” played in Sammy’s honor. The tournament is through Warren County Soccer, the organization Sammy played for.
“Each team selects a player that works hard and plays with sportsmanship who will receive the “‘Sammy Reagan Sportsmanship Award,’” Reagan explained.
They couldn’t do it alone though, the foundation has a team of volunteers who assist with events and help people in the community. Along with the volunteers, there are appointed board members who will assist with larger projects.
In a short 18 months the foundation has already collected approximately $45,000 to give back to the Kings community.
Even at a young age, Sammy Reagan lived by a personal motto: “If I see someone without a smile, I give them one of mine.”
Thanks to her, her parents were able to continue her legacy and embrace the community with open arms. Just like she did.