On Monday, December 12th, FA hosted a dedication ceremony in the South Campus gym lobby to thank the Jesse Watlington Memorial Foundation for their donation of a WeatherBug Lightning Alert System. The system alerts the school when lighting is detected in a 10-mile radius so we can take the necessary safety measures. Lightning safety is the mission behind the Jesse Watlington Memorial Foundation, named after Jesse Watlington who was fatally struck by lightning on October 3rd, 2012 and whose school did not have proper lightning safety measures in place.
Jesse’s parents, Chuck and Alda Watlington, attended the ceremony along with their daughter Carolina. School President Dave Buckles thanked the Watlingtons for their generous donation and Director of Education Carol Grosshans presented the family with a small gift of thanks from our school. The FA choir then performed a cappella for the Watlingtons, ending their performance with “We Wish You a Merry Christmas.”
Afterward, Chuck Watlington shared about his son’s story and the foundation’s mission. “We’re out trying to make sure our son is the last kid in the state of Florida needlessly struck by lightning,” Watlington explained. The foundation has 50 lightning alert systems installed and waiting to be installed at private schools of faith in the state of Florida. They hope to reach even more schools and invite others to partner with them on their mission. To read more about the foundation and to donate to their cause, click here.
We are so thankful for the Watlington family and also to our FA administrators who make students’ safety their very top priority.