Demetrius Thompson, 13, and about 50 of his classmates got the red carpet treatment Monday morning during the Friends of Rachel club's "You Are a Star" event. The event mimicked an award show ceremony, and included a showing of the animated feature “Rango,” games and a pizza lunch.
"It's actually kind of cool," Demetrius said after he got his picture taken by a “paparazzi” and signed autographs for his adoring “fans.”
Thanks to Friends of Rachel Club, and the Homewood-Flossmoor Rotary, he and his classmates were stars for a day.
"It's is my third year doing (this event)," 17-year-old Friend of Rachel member Emily Johnson said. "It's a good event, they get to come walk the red carpet, and there's paparazzi and fans. They get to be celebrities."
Norvell Barbour, 16, had been assigned as a mentor to one of the Glenwood students.
"It's kind of like Operation Snowball," Barbour said. "In Operation Snowball, we go out (to work) on the streets. Here, we (work) in school."
"I like making people feel good," he added.
The club itself is named for Rachel Scott, the first person killed at Columbine High School in 1999. According to the club's mission statement, Scott's "belief and legacy was to start a chain reaction of kindness." There are chapters of Friends of Rachel nationwide.
Bob Comstock, one of the event's adult organizers, gave insight into how H-F's Friends of Rachel make this mission a reality.
"(Club members) do random acts of kindness throughout the year," Comstock said. "We do this (event) once a year."
Glenwood students were encouraged to continue the chain reaction at the event. After walking down the red carpet each student was taken to a table where they were asked to write down an act of kindness they could perform.
Demetrius decided he would "clean up" his neighborhood.
"I intend to (do it)," Demetrius said.