Band to honor McManus memory

Two trees to be planted at memorial


Heather Westwood

The high school band commemorates the memory of Evan and Damian McManus by tying orange ribbons around the drums.

Noah Robiner

A couple of weeks before spring break, just after warming up, band director Steven Schmitz paused class to share an announcement.

A year had passed since the band lost senior percussionist Evan McManus and his father Damian when they disappeared on a spring break trip in Colorado. The band community decided to plant two trees in Louisiana Oaks Park to commemorate the lives of Evan and Damian.

“We need to honor and remember them and do something. So I’ve talked with some different parties that might be involved to make sure that everybody would agree with and support this way of honoring,” Schmitz said.

As the anniversary approached, Schmitz contacted staff and faculty about how to honor their memory. Equity coach Arika Mareck suggested an idea to support the rest of the McManus family with a gift.

The band raised funds and presented spa gift cards to Katherine and Lauren McManus.

Junior Ryan Casey was one of the band members to present the gift.

“They seemed very excited to get the gift from the band,” Casey said. “It’s good that the band decided to do something for them.”

Final details for the tree planting ceremony are not finalized. Schmitz plans to plant the trees in the summer.