Canyon Reed, a second grade student at , was honored with a “Do the Right Thing” award on March 28. Eureka Elementary School Counselor Shirley Mueller nominated 8-year-old Reed for this award after learning of his decision to participate in St. Jude’s Math-a-Thon instead of attending a youth football camp. This St. Louis-metro areawide award is designed to recognize and reward youth who have distinguished themselves by exhibiting positive character traits.
“Canyon’s parents told him he could participate in one of the two events, and he chose the math-a-thon because he said the children at St. Jude’s needed him,” said Mueller, in a Rockwood news release.
“He is a sensitive and caring young man who is attuned with the needs of others.”
Moved by Reed’s decision, Mueller shared his story with Farrell Shelton, the head football coach at . Shelton was impressed with Reed’s decision, and he arranged for him to receive a scholarship to attend the football camp.
“Canyon is an athletic kid, and it’s wonderful for him to have this opportunity,” said Mueller. “It was wonderful to surprise him with this news at the awards ceremony.”
Reed's mother, Robin, said she knew for a month that he had been nominated for the award. "I didn't tell him about it until after we got back from spring break, and received a letter informing us that he had won," she said.
"He was really excited. I'm not sure he was aware of what an honor it was, until we went downtown to the (Channel 4) headquarters for the ceremony."
Robin said knowing her son, his choice to help St. Jude’s did not surprise their family. "Much of the time, kids are recognized for what they do—sports or academics—and not for who they are. This award speaks to his character, and recognizes Canyon for who we know he is: kind, thoughtful, and compassionate."
"We are so proud of Canyon, and honored for this recognition," she said.
“Do the Right Thing" is sponsored by the St. Louis City and County Police Departments, KMOV-Channel 4, St. Louis Community College at Forest Park, Commerce Bank, McDonalds, St. Elizabeth's Hospital of Belleville, Memorial Hospital of Belleville, Sigma-Aldrich, Whalen Security, The Magic House, St. Louis Science Center and Cooperating School Districts.
The Do The Right Thing initiative was started in 1994.