Clothing drive continues philanthropic efforts in name of deceased Winchester teen

Published 10:33 am Friday, February 3, 2023

In May 2016, a tragedy occurred when 19-year-old Alexis Thompson passed away following an automobile accident.

Since then, the Alexis Thompson Memorial Foundation has found ways to stay involved with Winchester.

On the last weekend of January, the tradition continued.

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A free clothing community event took place from 3:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. on Jan.27-28 at Winchester First Church of God on Colby Road.

Both youth and adults had an opportunity to benefit.

“I got a call over Christmas break that a couple had got this major donation through the First Church of God,” said Ros Gay, the family resource coordinator at Strode Station Elementary School. “They’ve been doing a lot of outreach programs for Clark County children, just in honor of her name. They wanted to make sure that Clark County kids received this donation of free clothing.”

The couple in question is Whitney and Vicky Thompson, Alexis’ parents.

Previous efforts from Whitney and Vicky Thompson – who both work at Walmart – include holding the Alexis Thompson Memorial 5K/10K, and donating to help supply the football team at Robert D. Campbell Jr. High School with safety equipment.

However, wanting to carry on the spirit of Alexis’ care for children, working with schools around Clark County is something the organization hones in on.

“The continued work that they have been doing through her legacy…[this] is something that they wanted to do just to keep her memory alive,” Gay added. “They always have donated and supported the Clark County school children through food, through clothing, shoes, [and] anything that we may need.”

At the church Friday and Saturday evenings, guests could find numerous clothing items.

Family resource coordinators from several Clark County schools – including Casey Davis of Baker Intermediate School – and the Youth Service Center at George Rogers Clark High School got contacted to put on the event.

“We were able to spearhead it, and get the word out,” Gay added.

A large amount of clothing was present, with summer items being the most common.

Individuals from toddlers to adults were accounted for, with bags available to assist with gathering resources.

Perhaps most satisfying, the turnout was more significant than expected.

Facebook and other avenues got used to provide messaging.

“We were so surprised,” Gay stated. “The turnout was just tremendous. [On] Saturday, we closed down probably about 4:30 or 5. Most [of] the clothing was out.”

Students from Phoenix Academy played a valuable role in the event’s success.

“We called on Wednesday to see if their kids could volunteer and help out, and they did a tremendous job all day,” Gay said. “They even had an opportunity during the day to have all those students come through and shop for themselves.”

The Beta Club of George Rogers Clark High School also got involved.

For supporting the community and honoring Thompson’s legacy, the event was memorable in more ways than one.

“It was very rewarding,” Gay said. “To have this type of program and this type of resource that’s just a big blessing, and everyone came through. We have a lot of support for our families.”