School rallies behind former student

Celebrating Seniors

A local student injured in a hunting accident earlier this year is getting a boost from his community.

RJ Shirey is a State High student now, but his former school, Our Lady of Victory Catholic, is rallying behind him during a difficult time.

Shirey lost the lower part of his right leg after a hunting trip

“I tried taking steps without the parallel bars and I would just stumble,” Shirey said. “To me, I thought it would never get better.”

He’s walking now with the help of a prosthetic leg. His recovery process has been difficult and he still has a long road ahead of him, but Shirey said the community’s support has been inspiring.

“After I came home from the hospital, I had neighbors build ramps for me, I had teachers come and visit me and overall, there were a lot of people who came together to see what they could do,” he said. 

Andrea Brandimarte and Heather McQueary’s students have come up with three ideas to raise money for the RJ Shirey Fund. They’ll host a family movie night and a school dance where all of the entrance fees will be donated to support Shirey’s medical expenses, as well as a “pay to dress down” day in February.

Mrs. Brandimarte said there isn’t necessarily a monetary goal for the fundraisers instead, they’re a valuable lesson.

“It’s to have our students realize and live out our school theme, which is to do small things with great love,” she said.

Fundraising Events:

Polar Express Family Movie Night

Friday, December 2

Families can come to the school to view this favorite holiday film. All profits from admissions will benefit RJ.

Middle School Dance for OLV Students


Typically profits from admissions and the concession stand fund school activities. However, the proceeds from this particular dance will go to RJ’s family.

Additional Dress Down Day


We will be offering an additional dress down day in February for students who donate to the fund for RJ.

“Even though a lot of the current students may not know RJ personally, it still feels personal and they take it to heart,” McQueary said.

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