Western Boone HS senior collects bottles caps to build memorial bench for classmate

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THORNTOWN, Ind. (WTHR) — A wooden cross near a utility pole on State Road 32 in Boone County is a mile marker for where Sydney Foster was killed in a car accident March 1.

One of her senior classmates at Western Boone High School wants to build another memorial.

Kailey Gideon went to school with Foster since seventh grade, but they were not close friends. That perhaps makes Gideon’s senior project even more impressive.

"I just feel like she needs something to be honored, to be remembered by,” said Gideon. “She gave so much. We can't really give too much to her now. But she needs something to be remembered, to be honored."

Foster played soccer for the Western Boone Stars. Gideon wants to put a memorial bench for Foster at the school soccer fields. Gideon’s project is to collect 400 pounds of plastic caps. She will take the caps to Green Tree Plastics in Evansville to be melted and made into the bench.

Gideon is collecting water bottle, sports drink and soda caps; peanut butter jar lids; prescription medication bottle lids - pretty much any plastic cap. The caps are being collected in a specially-marked trash can in the school cafeteria and several other spots in Boone County, including the Zionsville Police Department and Jamestown Christian Church.

The idea was borne out of a senior English class, where each student develops a “20% Time” project over several weeks. The students devote one class each week, 20%, to working on their project.

"Kailey's been a hard worker for me and has maintained a high grade,” said Western Boone senior English teacher Colin Haney. “I think now the project that she has taken on has shown the type of young woman that she is. Even with everything getting bigger and bigger and more donations coming in than they really might not know what to do with, she hasn't shied away from it at all."

Foster’s mother heard about the project and reached out on social media to thank Gideon.

“It made my heart melt,” said Gideon. “I didn't think with her being overwhelmed with losing her daughter, I didn't think she would reach out to me the way that she did. It made me feel good."

Western Boone graduation is May 26th. Gideon hopes to have the memorial bench constructed and installed with a plaque at the soccer fields in time for commencement.

Gideon can be contacted for more information through her Facebook page.