Plaque dedicated in honor of students memory

Bianca Sarver, Editor-in-Chief

On Saturday, October 1st, over 200 people attended a ceremony in honor of Anthony Fearn, a senior at Joliet West, who was killed in July as an innocent bystander to a shooting. The ceremony was held at SUDA Mixed Martial Arts Academy and was followed by a candlelight walk to Joliet West High School, where a plaque was revealed to commemorate Anthony’s talents and achievements.

Among the many who attended this ceremony was Anthony’s family, including his grandfather, Earnest Bush; his grandmother, Lois Bush; his father, Terry Fearn; his mother, Tisha Fearn; his sisters Keyana and Breyana Hopkins; and his cousin Naomi Bush. After the procession to Joliet West, participants stood around a tree that is northeast of the school building, where Earnest Bush revealed the plaque (off of main entrance). Many spoke about Anthony during the ceremony, including his pastor, Deddrick Perry, of Glory International Harvest Church in Joliet. “We want to thank and praise God for allowing this opportunity. We see that the hearts and the minds of people here were really touched by Anthony,” Perry said. Another spokesman was Ron Hill, Anthony’s coach and co-owner of the mixed martial arts academy who said, “We will all miss Anthony; we all love him and it’s hard to lose someone who was so inspiring and so full of life.” The ceremony concluded back at the martial arts academy where attendees viewed a slideshow presentation on Anthony’s life.

Fearn was employee of the Kohl’s store in Joliet, where another employee, Constance Jaicomo, coordinated the ceremony with her mother, Susan Hernandez, and Ron and James Hill, co-owners of SUDA Mixed Martial Arts Academy. Through Kohl’s “Associates in Action,” effort, the ceremony was able to raise $2,500 for Big Brother-Big Sisters of Will and Grundy Counties. “We’re proud to be a part of the walk in memory of such a dedicated young man. He was a role model to the community and a mentor to many,” said Coleen Davis, chief development officer of the local Big Brothers-Big Sisters organization.

Some students voiced their thoughts about Anthony, regarding who he was as a person, what he did and how they felt when they received the news of his death. Nicole Gawlik, senior, said that the first word that comes to mind when thinking about Anthony was “bubbly,” and that he was always positive. After knowing him for several years, she was in total shock upon finding out what had happened to Anthony, and often asked why such a thing had happened to him. Anthony Schalk, senior, also knew Anthony and described him as hard working, determined, and joyful. He was also shocked and saddened by the news. Another senior, Calvin Edwards, also described him as joyful and as a person who always went out of his way to help others. Edwards said that Anthony taught him how to skate and they always spoke every time they saw each other in school.

Anthony Fearn left a positive impact on others throughout his life, and his many championships in mixed martial arts showed his dedication. He will be missed by his family, his friends, his school and his community.