By NICK IVIE
PRIEST RIVER — When the Priest River Lamanna High School class of 2010 was unsure of the best way to leave a lasting legacy with their senior project, the students turned to Rusty Pavey.
A community member and PRLHS parent known for bringing ideas to reality after spearheading the beautification project at the junior high school.
Through their partnership the two parties would decide to upgrade the school facility with a new modern American Flag while honoring one of their alumni in fallen soldier William A. Zapfe.
Sergeant First Class Zapfe served three tours of duty and was killed in action on June 19, 2007 when his tank hit an improvised explosive device during Operation Iraqi Freedom.
Introduced at senior night for the Spartan boys on Feb. 15, the enormous red, white and blue flag descended down to the court before being christened by band member and guitarist Steven Olson.
Olson slammed out the Star Spangled Banner and sent chills down the spines of those old enough to remember Jimi Hendrix’ immortal 1969 anthem performed at Woodstock.
The Zapfe family expressed they are, “absolutely ecstatic” about the project in Williams’ honor. A Wall of Honor featuring SFC Zapfe was also started at PRLHS during the last school year.
“The class of 2010 had all the right ideas and took respect to another level,” said Pavey. They wanted to honor a true Veteran and one of their own. It’s a great thing for both the school and the community.”
The student body raised much of the funding themselves and received a generous donation by an anonymous but very gracious community member to complete the project.