Ooltewah Student honors Houston officer killed during Harvey

OOLTEWAH, Tenn. (WDEF) – An Ooltewah Middle School student is giving back to the Houston Texas community in a big way.

Freddy Mathis says, “I can only imagine how bad it was.”

13-year-old Freddy Mathis is talking about the devastation that swept through Houston in the wake of Hurricane Harvey.

Just before Thanksgiving, his school is planning to honor the officer who lost his life during the storm Sgt. Steve Parez.

Lisa Gossett says “We kind of thought about a few things that we could send to them and I thought we could do something else.”

Ooltewah Middle will send this portrait of Sgt. Parez to Houston. As Mathis looks at the portrait, with a heavy heart, he is just happy that he could honor a man who meant so much to his community.

Mathis told News 12, “I saw a lot of comments about how proud they are of me like doing this portrait to honor a man who was died during Hurricane Harvey so I was really proud of myself for making people feel that way.”

Freddy’s art teacher Lisa Gossett says the Owl community has rallied behind Houston and are happy that they could help Freddy make such a huge impact.

“It gives you chills I mean … in 6th grade he was fantastic and in 8th grade, you just see more progression. I just gave him the paper and pencil and he did the rest,” says Gossett.

Mathis says. “I hope they like this portrait and thanks for their support in me.”

Sgt. Perez was responding to the aftermath when he drowned in the flood water.

Categories: Hamilton County, Local News

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