‘Buddy Bench’ to Remember Pine Grove Elementary Student Who Passed Away

PINE GROVE, Pa. -- An elementary school in Schuylkill County is remembering a fellow student who passed away after a battle with brain cancer earlier this year.

A "buddy bench" is keeping a beloved classmate and friend's spirit alive.

Ask anyone at Pine Grove Elementary School about Chase Morgan and they'll tell you he left an indelible mark on his teachers and fellow classmates.

"He just had the biggest heart of any student. He was always so kind to others, and he was that student you looked to, to reach out to others and help them along the way. He was just an amazing, all around, outstanding little boy," said Pine Grove Principal Sandra Burns.

Chase passed away in February after a battle with brain cancer. He was just 9 years old.

Although he may no longer be with us, his lasting impact and memory live on in the form of his own "buddy bench."

"He was the epitome of a buddy," said his former teacher Dawn Reiter. "He truly was. He was an amazing student. He was very conscientious. He was hard on himself, but he was truly a friend and a role model for all the students."

A "buddy bench" aims towards establishing friendships and eliminating loneliness on the playground -- qualities that Chase stood for.

"I had memories of him coming over to our parties and doing the slip and slide with me and playing on my Xbox," said fourth grader Ian Brown.

In March, which happens to be Chase's birthday month, the bench will be taken out to the playground at Pine Grove Elementary School to serve as a place for students to become buddies.

"Just to have this in memory of Chase out on our playground, it will have a special place in all of our hearts."

The school was able to purchase Chase's buddy bench through a grant and fundraising.

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