OHIO VALLEY — When it came time for Wahama senior MacKenzie Barr to pick her senior project she knew she wanted to do something with physical therapy, the field she hopes to go into.
Barr explained that as a graduation requirement at the school, students must complete a senior project in an area they hope to pursue after graduation. For Barr, this included a research paper on strokes and rehabilitation, as well as job shadowing with Colin Pierce at Mountain River Physical Therapy in Point Pleasant.
For the final part of her project, Barr is selling stroke awareness t-shirts in memory of her grandfather, the late Mick Winebrenner. The proceeds from the shirts will be used to fund at least one scholarship for a graduate of the Southern High School Class of 2020 in Winebrenner’s memory.
The shirts read, “We don’t know how strong we are until being strong is the only choice we have. Stroke Awareness.”
Winebrenner was a member of Racine United Methodist Church and a beloved member of the Racine community. He was an avid golfer and gardener. He began teaching history at Southern High School in 1975. During his 28 year tenure there, he coached junior high basketball as well as high school football, track, baseball and golf. During his teaching and coaching career, he touched the lives of many students and athletes, explained Barr.
MacKenzie’s mom (Winebrenner’s daughter) Shelly Barr explained that if there was something good to come out of her father’s stroke it was that he spent the biggest part of the summer on the 5th floor at Holzer in therapy where MacKenzie was able to go and watch while he was in therapy. Once the staff learned that she was interested in physical therapy they taught her ways to work with Winebrenner in his therapy.
MacKenzie explained that she found it rewarding working with her grandpa as they taught him to walk again.
The scholarship which results from the shirt sales will be presented during the senior awards assembly at Southern at the end of the current school year. Applications will be available in the spring at the school.
MacKenzie explained that as part of the application the student will be required to write an essay about why their grandparent or “grandparent like figure” is important to them. The essays and applications will be reviewed by a selection committee who will determine the recipient(s). The Racine United Methodist Church is assisting with the handling of the money for the scholarship.
Shirts are available at www.customink.com/fundraising/mick-winebrenner-memorial-tshirt-sale. Additional donations can also be made through the website link. An order form will be available in the Southern school office, as well as the shirts being sold at some of the Southern home basketball games. Shirts can also be ordered by calling Shelly at 740-416-6087.
Sarah Hawley is the managing editor of The Daily Sentinel