Kindness Changes Everything
Reader's Digest Nicest Places Contest
The Story of the Genie Drown Memorial Butterfly Bench and Kindness Tree at Hallsville Primary
Tribute by Darlene Huff for Genie Drown Children’s Grove Memorial:
When Genie Drown, my friend and colleague of 36 years, was tragically killed in a car accident February 24, 2016, her loss was felt deeply by family and friends. Genie became the school nurse beginning in 1979 for the Hallsville Public Schools and was an active member serving as the secretary/treasurer for the Missouri Association of School Nurses and NE MASN. As I thought about Genie’s passion and commitment to MASN and the health and safety of children and families, I felt compelled to honor her in some special way.
I recalled being drawn into the passion of Anne Deaton to commemorate the tragic loss of the children of Sandy Hook. It began as a beautiful project to represent Columbia's commitment to provide mental health services for families and a community providing a safe nurturing environment for all into the Children’s Grove coalition that works through the power of kindness and other positive mental health behaviors to address the mental and emotional challenges that face our youth.
Because of all the Children’s Grove represents, it became my dream to honor Genie with a Children’s Grove Butterfly Bench, Butterfly Magnolia Tree, and a memorial plaque. I am indebted especially to Anne Deaton, Suzanne McDavid, Karen Jimerson, and John Downs for their support and tireless efforts to form a collaboration of individuals from the Missouri Association of School Nurses (MASN), Hallsville Public Schools faculty and staff, the Hallsville Community, and the Children’s Grove to secure the donations and implementation of the memorial for Genie. The memorial located in a shady location on the playground behind the school where Genie served as a school nurse with the Butterfly Bench serving as a “ Buddy Bench” for students! The Children’s Grove Butterfly Bench, Butterfly Magnolia Tree, and a memorial plaque for the Celebration of Life and Dedication of the Memorial for Genie Drown was held on October 26, 2016."
Photos Lt. to Rt.
1. Genie Drown
2. Genie’s family: Grandson-Jake Wine, Daughter- Kim Drown Winne, Grandson- Ben and husband-Doug Drown
3. MASN colleagues: Suzanne McDavid, Mary Ridgway, Darlene Huff, Sandy Gray, and Barbara Elliott
4. Hallsville Schools Staff Standing: Karen Jimerson - Primary School Principal, John Downs - Hallsville Schools Superintendent, Sara Crane
6. Children by "Buddy Bench" and Kindness Tree, the signature Yellow Butterfly Magnolia