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BHS honors Whited at Arbor Day service

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By Jesef Williams

The staff and students of Buford High School used this year's Arbor Day celebration to remember the life of one of their own.

The school held its annual Arbor Day Celebration on Thursday morning and a red maple tree was planted in the courtyard in memory of Bobby Whited.

Whited, a Buford High senior, died in a car accident in 2004.

"We wanted to plant a tree in memory of Bobby Whited because he was an excellent student and showed great character in his life," said Jeffrey Whisenhunt, Buford High's agricultural educator. "Hopefully this tree will be a symbol to our students to constantly work on their character like Bobby did."

The program was sponsored by the Lancaster Conservation District. Each school in Lancaster County School District was encouraged to submit a short paper on why this year's celebration should be held at that school.

Whisenhunt wrote the winning paper.

After remarks in the auditorium, the program moved to the courtyard, where Whited's family, Buford High personnel and conservation district staff turned soil to start plant the tree.

Lisa Whited, Bobby's mother, shed tears during most of the ceremony. She said she's happy to see that the school continues to remember her son.

"He's still a part of the school even though he's gone," she said. "His memory lives on."

About Arbor Day

Nationally, Arbor Day is celebrated on the last Friday in April. The holiday, established in 1872, encourages individuals and groups to plant and care for trees.

However, some states have set their own date.

In South Carolina, Arbor Day is the first Friday in December.

"The Lancaster Conservation District hopes that this Arbor Day celebration encourages our citizens in Lancaster County to plant and care for trees,"conservation district manager Amanda Roberts said. "Trees clean our air, provide forest products for our use and food and cover for wildlife. Our goal is to improve all natural resources in our county, and trees are an important part of that goal."

Contact Jesef Williamsat 283-1152 orjwilliams@thelancasternews.com