By Marty Gordon
A Christiansburg High School student who died tragically in an accident last summer is being remembered in a special way by a Washington-state collegiate softball team. Ashlyn Poole, who played softball, track and volleyball, will be honored with the Skagit Valley College team takes the field this spring. Her initials will be worn on the back of the team’s batting helmets.
Skagit Valley College competes in the Northwest Athletic Conference and is a two-year community college in Mt. Vernon, Washington.
Freshman outfielder Kaylee Johnson, who is from Radford High School in Honolulu, Hawaii, is a cousin to Poole. She visited with the Poole family during Christmas break.
Johnson said her teammates and coaches are the most supporting people she has ever met.
“We always try to look for a reason to play for something that’s bigger than ourselves–to play for someone or something that means the most. Ashlyn was my cousin and one of my bestest friends,” she said.
The team will wear the initials “AP” on the back of the white batting helmets.
Over the past few months, Johnson said she has come to learn that life is short and you aren’t guaranteed tomorrow.
“Ashlyn lived such a full and happy life, and I want to live for her and play for her and to live my life through her. She was a young and bright spirit that will remain with us during this upcoming season and for years to come,” she concluded.
The “good” measure was recently featured on the Acts4Ash Facebook page, which was started by Ashlyn’s mother, Melissa.
After considering several possibilities to honor Ashlyn, the family decided on the random acts of kindness project and created the name, Acts4Ash, which can be found on Facebook.
The cards that Melissa sends out to other to distribute read: “Please enjoy this random act of kindness in memory of Ashlyn Poole. She brightened everyone’s day and I hope this brightens yours.”
Currently, the page has over 1,000 members, and 134 known acts of kindness have been shared since the page was created on November 21, 2018, and those acts have not been limited to Virginia or even the United States. Several posts point to incidents around the globe.
“Our entire hope and purpose, through this project, is that Ashlyn’s memory will be honored by spreading kindness to one another just the way she did everyday of her short 16 years of life,” her mother concluded.