Students Honor Classmate With Disability With Donation To Shriners Hospital


Students present Shriners Hospital board member Bill Fenters with a $200 check.

GOOSE CREEK, SC — His parents were told by doctors he would never walk or talk. He was born with a birth defect. Through the years Marrington Elementary fifth grader Braddock Keffer surprised everyone. He’s used a reversible walker and at one point had braces on both feet, defying odds by walking.

“Now he’s down to just one brace. He just had a surgery in December. He’s been able to walk really well without any help,” mother Trebor Boatwright said.

Since age two the Moncks Corner boy has gotten help from the Omar Shrine Temple members in Mount Pleasant. The non-profit has transported Brad and his family to the Shiners Hospital for Children in Greenville for appointments, treatment, surgery, checkups and follow-ups,  footing the bill for the medical expenses, food and hotel.

Braddock Keffer pictured with step-dad Matthew Boatwright, mom Trebor Boatwright, and the Omar Shrine Temple Potentate.

“To see the progress that they make with all children, not just my child, and to take them to the different hospitals at no charge, it’s amazing,” Boatwright said.

Then came yet another surprise! It was one that Braddock’s classmates and student council leaders organized in his honor — a $200 donation for the Shriners Hospital!

Shriners accept a $200 check from the Marrington Elementary student body.

“This is very heartwarming. I was surprised. I feel that they wanted something that locally would help the student body. I think it was a good choice. Braddock has been a student here since he was in Kindergarden. They are helping local children and they can see where the money goes that helps them,” Boatwright said.

The student council held multiple fundraisers throughout the school year,  including a dance and a movie night to get their classmates involved in giving to a non-profit.

“I’m really happy to give this money to them because they help a lot of people and children in need,” said about the donation.

Student Council President Elijah Bartolome announces to his classmates that they chose the Shriners Hospital.

“I just get goosebumps. I am exceedingly proud of this school, these students,” said student council co-sponsor and resource teacher Val MacEachern.

Several Shriners stood by as the donation was announced to students. Everyone clapped and cheered.

“Isn’t that a wonderful thing! We’re reaching young children. They voted they wanted the Shriner’s Hospital in Greenville to be a recipient of this money in honor of Braddock. I think thats a wonderful thing,” said Bill Fenters, a past potentate and Shriners Hospital board member. He accepted the donation on behalf of the hospital.

School leaders take a moment to pose with Shriners at the donation announcement.

The Shriners Hospital for Children in Greenville is one of 22 hospitals dedicated to improving the lives of children by providing pediatric specialty care, innovative research and outstanding teaching programs. It specializes in caring for children with a wide range of orthopaedic and neuromuscular conditions. The local Shriner Territory spans 22 counties along coastal South Carolina.

Students and Shriners take a group photo.


Nicole Johnson Shealy

Nicole Johnson Shealy

Nicole Johnson Shealy is a freelance journalist in the tri-county area. She began her journalism career in the TV news industry in 2005 and has worked at stations in Columbia, SC, Albany, GA, and in Charleston, SC. Additionally, her work has been published across multiple platforms including newspaper, magazine, and online.
Nicole Johnson Shealy

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