In a culmination of last year’s fund-raising efforts, the Art Club at St. Mary’s School, SMART Club, made a $423.86 donation to St. Jude’s in honor of Keaton Barrón, the young man they chose as recipient of their annual service project.
Club advisor Amy Staton said the group heard Keaton’s story and wanted to do something to help.
St. Mary’s art students made paintings and sculptures to auction in their annual art show and then designed, printed and sold t-shirts. For the art show, students became museum docents for the event as they set up an art show, gave tours and answered questions about the exhibits. They also sold and raffled off items for their annual fund-raiser.
“We thought that Keaton needed our help and we wanted to raise as much as we could to help with Keaton’s treatment,” said 8th grader Sophia Neely.
Each club member entered a t-shirt design and the entire student body voted to select the winner. Marina Marchant won the logo competition for the t-shirt silk screen design.
Travis Ratcliff at Ratcliff Ink partnered with the school to teach the children about the screen printing business from start to finish, including financial lessons on managing expenses and profits to help them understand all the elements that go into production.
After evaluating profit margins, cost and design principles, SMART Club members decided to give a portion of the profits dedicated to the charity and keep half of the money they made to invest into this year’s fund-raising efforts to buy more supplies
“This goes to Keaton in honor of the brave battle that he fought. He is an inspiration to us all,” Staton said at the check presentation.
“They were responsible for pulling each of those shirts that they sold,” Staton said. “One kid holding, one kid pulling ink, one kid hanging it to dry.”
Through the work the students did last year, they were mindful of the young man who inspired them to do more and spread kindness. His family was honored to see the students carry on his legacy.
“We’re really excited that Keaton’s legacy is being carried on, not only through kindness, but also through supporting organizations like St. Jude that help children and families fighting cancer,” Holly Barrón said. “Above all else, we really want to support research in the hope that other children and families don’t have to go through this.”
It’s not every day that a young man creates a movement that ripples kindness throughout the world, but Keaton Barrón wasn’t your average kid either.
Keaton Barrón was born on March 21, 2010 and grew to be a happy toddler who loved Mickey Mouse, the Oklahoma City Thunder, and the OSU Cowboys. Keaton was diagnosed with leukemia at the age of two after his parents, Holly and Luke Barrón, took him to the doctor with concerns over several little things that just didn’t make sense.
Throughout more than five years of chemotherapy, radiation and ups and downs, Keaton fought with grace and courage without complaining about the hospital stays or missing out on so many life experiences because of his illness.
Unfortunately, Keaton passed away at home on May 11, 2018. He touched many lives, taught others about faith, hope, and never giving up, and leaves a legacy that his family and friends hope to share for years to come.
One day, a friend visiting Keaton in the hospital suggested they start a club. After much discussion and brainstorming, Keaton said that he wanted to start a kindness club called “The K Club.” He wrote the club’s mission, and even chose an official club snack, drink, and lunchtime. He also drew the K Club logo.
“Membership was a dollar or whatever you could afford,” Holly Barrón explained. “People started paying more and we had money to do all sorts of kind things.” The K Club officially became a corporation on July 13 and recently received notice of approval for non-profit status as well.
The K Club specializes in random acts of kindness and other projects like giving away lego (that was Keaton’s favorite), helping pay for funerals, delivering hospice care packs or trying to help with anything that someone needs.
“It’s been really good for us to have something to focus on. We’re still working for Keaton with something positive,” Holly said. “Keaton was a shining example of what it means to live with kindness, courage, compassion, and care for others every single day.”
Today, the K Club has more than 2,000 members in all 50 states. Find out more or join the club at kclubkindness.org or follow KClub Kindness on Facebook.