Monday afternoon, East Texas students gathered to honor Kayla Gomez-Orozco in a special way. The International Baccalaureate (IB) program at Robert E. Lee High School organized a balloon release within 24 hours, all to help comfort one of their own.
“We had a table set out during our lunch periods and we had just anybody come up and write down what they wanted to say to the family,” said Robert E. Lee junior and IB student Bethany Rocha.
A few more letters were written Monday evening, all neatly rolled and tied with a pink ribbon before being stuffed into a basket for the Gomez-Orozco family.
The assistant principal of Robert E. Lee, Tracey Myers, said the IB program students organized the event by themselves. All they had to do was get clearance from the school.
“Our students are awesome,” she said. “They really reach out and care for each other and this situation is no different.”
Kayla’s cousin, Clarissa Orozco, is apart of the IB program.
“We felt like we needed to do something as an IB family to support her and her family,” said Rocha.
Hundreds of pink balloons were passed out to people as they walked onto the football field. Many people showed up and within 10 minutes, they had run out of balloons.
“We felt like it would symbolize Kayla being released and set free because she was a part of many people’s lives,” said Rocha.
“We have a precious, precious soul that is away in the skies,” added Myers.
Rocha said although it is a difficult time, little Kayla has brought the community together as one.
“I really don’t have any words to say because it’s just very very hard, a very hard situation,” said Clarissa Orozco. “I appreciate all of you coming out tonight.”
If you would like to help, Regions Bank in Tyler is accepting monetary donations for the Kayla Gomez fund. A fund has also been set up at First Bank and Trust of East Texas, located at Three Lakes Parkway and Old Jacksonville Highway in Tyler. There is also a YouCaring fundraiser, here.