Trevor Satterwaite didn’t like the way police were being portrayed in the media, so he organized a “Sea of Youth” march to thank them for their work.
The event will take place on May 16 in Medina, OH. Students will meet at Medina High School at 10:30 a.m. before marching to the county courthouse.
All of the county’s law enforcement officers have been invited to the event, which will include speakers, music and a blue gift bag for each officer.
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Trevor, an eighth-grader, wanted to show support for police in the wake of the negative publicity toward them after the Ferguson, Mo., protests.
He was also inspired by the Sea of Blue rally that he attended in Cleveland.
“I said, “More people should do that. Let’s try that,’” he said.
Police officers have been a positive influence in Trevor’s life throughout his childhood, as he has participated in an afterschool program run by the Medina County Police Athletic League, the MCPAL program.
“The police officers come there, and they are really nice,” Trevor said. “We play sports, go on field trips and have snacks. I’ve been around police pretty much all my life.”
Trevor wrote a paper about the Sea of Blue rally for his history class, and he noted that he didn’t see many kids at the rally. That’s when he got the idea for the Sea of Youth.
He visited Medina Mayor Dennis Hanwell, received a permit for the rally and enlisted the support of the Medina Rotary Club.
“They have been our biggest supporters,” said Trevor’s mother, Annie.
After the students march to the courthouse, Trevor and other children will speak, along with Hanwell and Montville Township Trustee Sally Albright.
The Celtic Eagles Bagpipe Band will perform, as well as youth choirs from Garfield and Blake elementary schools in Medina.
The U.S. Marine Corps and the color guard will also appear at the event, which will include a memorial service.
“We want to remember the fallen officers,” said Trevor’s mother, Annie, who is helping her son plan the event.
“Officers from police departments as far away as Canada will be there,” Annie said. “We appreciate their commitment to come.”
Trevor thinks that the Sea of Youth won’t be his only experience with community activism.
“This is a nice stepping stone to do larger things in the future,” he said. “It can set me forward for life.”
Annie and 13-year-old Trevor are also selling raffle tickets and running a GoFundMe campaign to raise money to buy T-shirts for all of the children who participate.
The GoFundMe campaign is also intended to raise money for police departments to buy refrigerators to store food for the needy.
The raffle prizes include trips to Myrtle Beach, Syracuse and Chicago, as well as a 30-minute flight from Premier Flight Academy.
Local businesses will have blue balloons to welcome police officers for a snack or a beverage.
For more information, check out the Medina County Sea of Youth Facebook page.
Trevor, who wants to be a physicist in the future, hopes the rally will encourage families to become active in their communities.
“If parents raise a generation of children that don’t get involved in their communities, they won’t raise their children get involved, and things won’t get done,” he said.
Trevor’s message to families is to “get children involved in your community, and love your cops!”