LABELLE, Fla. — LaBelle High School came together in solidarity today as students organized a bake sale fundraiser in honor of 15-year-old Eduardo Escobedo, who was killed in a hit-and-run accident last week.
“It's just so sad what happened to him, because he was just a kid, you know?" said close friend Stephanie Ponce, choking back tears.
Eduardo was struck by a vehicle while riding his bicycle on Case Road, and authorities are still working to identify the driver responsible.
The bake sale aimed to provide support to Eduardo's family during this difficult time. Ponce took the initiative to organize the bake sale and used social media to spread the word.
She expressed her gratitude for the outpouring of support, noting that it came not only from students but from people all across LaBelle. Ponce and school staff members said Eduardo’s character had a great impact on the school.
“He was always happy; always smiling. That’s why we did these - ‘Smiles for Eduardo’.” said Ponce.
People could donate money to write a message on smiles posted across the school cafeteria. So far, more than $1,600 has been raised for the family. The students say they chose smiles because that’s what everyone did when they were around him.
"We didn't know how big of an impact he has on our student body and community," said school bookkeeper, Cinthya Baron.
She and Tammy Bass, the school principal, shared their belief that Eduardo's memory — and the smiles he brought — will continue to resonate within the school community.
"He's still a part of this school for us and will continue to be, very much... and I think the kids feel that way too.”
Ponce plans to organize another bake sale for the public on Tuesday and will share the details on Facebook.