WOODBINE - Losing her friend hasn’t been easy for Cameryn Schafer.
Schafer, a senior at Woodbine High School, misses him a great deal but is certainly keeping the memory of Jacy McAlexander, of Rockwell City, alive by continuing a project that was very important to him, collecting pop tabs for the Ronald McDonald House.
“We met a long time ago, when we were just kids,” Schafer said. Schafer’s grandma was close with Jacy’s father, so that meant the kids often played together at events where her grandma and Jacy’s father worked together.
Jacy is the nephew of Evelyn Oliver, of Woodbine.
At the age of seven, he was diagnosed with cancer and battled it for ten years until his passing in 2018.
McAlexander and Schafer first met through these encounters at events. But they really started hanging out more when they would meet up at the Iowa State Fair.
Later on, the two would work together at various State 4-H events.
A project close to McAlexander’s heart was collecting pop tabs for the Ronald McDonald House.
He started the project and went on to meet his original goal of collecting one million of them, he reset the goal to one ton.
“He got to more than 1,600 [lbs.] when he passed away on May 5 of last year, 2018,” Schafer said.
The State 4-H Council then took on this campaign and continued it.
Once again, the goal was surpassed and a new one was set. That new goal is to collect five tons by September 5, which would have been Jacy’s 19th birthday.
Schafer said she is so grateful to have met and gotten to know Jacy.
“The memories that I shared with him are some that I cherish beyond words, from meeting at Spaghetti Works to sitting on the side of the hill at the State Fair,” Schafer reminisced.
She went on to say that she missed his jokes and playful nature. And she said despite everything he was going through, McAlexander never complained about his struggles and pain.
Schafer said she is happy he has gone to his comfort but is also heartbroken.
“Jacy will always be part of our student council family and our Woodbine family,” she concluded. “Fly high Jacy.”
So, to enter into the four-on-four volleyball tourney, it cost 40 pop tabs per team. And admission into the event was five pop tabs per person.
The winner was the team called Last Minute. They are from the Carroll area.
The event was coordinated by the Woodbine High School Student Council.
Currently, the number of pounds that have been collected by the Woodbine community is around 40 to 50, according to Schafer.
If you would like to donate pop tabs to the cause, you can contact Cameryn or drop your donation off at the Woodbine United Methodist Church or the Harrison County ISU Extension and Outreach Office in Logan.