PIQUA — The class of 2016 at Piqua High School will honor a fellow classmate one last time on Tuesday.
Sponsored by the public relations class at PHS, the third and final Orange Out, in honor of Brandon Burnside, who lost his battle with leukemia following the now-senior students’ sophomore year, will be held during the boys’ basketball game against Vandalia-Butler on Tuesday.
As part of the event, students are selling Orange Out T-shirts for $10 to wear during the game, and raffle baskets will be on display for the community to purchase tickets for a chance to win.
Piqua High School Athletic Director Chip Hare said Brandon was a much-loved classmate.
“Brandon was the young man that everyone liked because he was kind and thoughtful to so many,” Hare said. “His smile was infectious and his heart was bigger than life.”
Brandon’s mom, Lori Burnside, said she is thankful for the students’ continuing support, along with the businesses and community that have come together each year.
“I am so proud of these students, and the community. I am just blessed,” Lori Burnside said. “I’m amazed that these kids still keep Brandon in their memories in their senior year, which would have been his senior year.”
Hare said he also is proud of the students who have kept Brandon’s memory alive — inside and outside the halls of PHS. During the first Orange Out, Hare said, Piqua and Troy students put their rivalry aside for a night, and in the weeks prior, and raised $14,000 to help Brandon and his family with the expenses of his treatments.
“I think that the students have done a great job of carrying on and honoring his legacy. Brandon impacted so many lives,” Hare said. “I am very proud of our students for not only continuing to honor Brandon but to include his family with this celebration. While we miss Brandon and the infectious smile and kindness he brought to so many, we are very happy to be able to celebrate his life one last time at our last home basketball game of the season.”
All funds raised last year went to Dayton Children’s Hospital, where Brandon was treated during his fight with leukemia. The proceeds from this year also will be given to the hospital to help children like Brandon.
“Those kids are really something,” Lori Burnside said. “I know that any money raised will be put to good use to help a special bunch of kids.”
Hare said there will be a brief presentation before the national anthem, as senior Riley Brandon will talk about the Orange Out and what Brandon meant to the senior class and community of Piqua. Between the third and fourth quarters, there also will be a presentation with Brandon’s family to give the students and community the opportunity to celebrate his life and honor his family. Lori Burnside said she, along with Brandon’s aunts and uncles and others, will be in attendance for the celebration.
One final time, for Brandon.
Reach Melody Vallieu at [email protected] or (937) 552-3121