Gage Gordy would have been a Mayes 3rd grader this year, had his life not been suddenly cut short before his second birthday by Myocarditis. Ask anyone at Mayes, and you’ll quickly learn that Gage was a gregarious and friendly little boy who never met a stranger, who loved good books, his family and all his special friends at Mayes where his Aunt Lacie (Giasson) taught then – and still teaches today.
Shocked and devastated by Gage’s untimely death, the Mayes Mustang family – with Aunt Lacie at the helm – decided that a project combining books and helping others would be the best way to honor his memory and keep his special spirit alive.
Thus began “Gage's Pages” – and the rest is beautiful history. Six years and thousands of books later, Gage's Pages has grown into far more than its founders ever dreamed possible.
“In addition to our annual Gage's Pages book drive, which has provided thousands of books for less fortunate Denison children, we started an Annual School Supply Drive several years ago that provides all DISD campuses with items that every student needs to succeed in school,” said Giasson. “We received over $2,000 in online donations this year, as well as 15 boxes of school supplies from a local business donor who wishes to remain anonymous. It’s just another wonderful and meaningful way to honor Gage’s memory, one that warms our hearts and makes us smile.”
According to Giasson, Gage’s legacy doesn’t stop there. “Boxed for Success” was born this year when local families and businesses partnered with Gage's Pages and “adopted a box” to stuff with hygiene supplies (hair products, deodorant, baby wipes, toothpaste and toothbrushes, underwear, socks and many other brand new items) to help each campus provide students with a “fresh” start each day.
“As a teacher, I know the negative effects it can have on students who don’t have those daily necessities, and how their school performance can improve with just a little help in those areas,” said Giasson. “So many people have jumped on board. We were able to give each DISD campus between one and four boxes, and we still have funds to replenish the boxes when they get low.”
Last but not least, Giasson says the “Gage's Pages” projects have expanded to also help the teachers that Gage so dearly loved. “The mission of our “Amazon Teacher Wish List” is once again our students – and that starts with teachers. We posted on Facebook asking teachers (from any district) to post their Amazon Wish List. We didn’t know at first if we were going to clear an entire wish list this year…but we were able to fulfill over 20 wish lists for teachers. That’s just amazing, and we’re expecting to grow that number next year.”
Giasson says the Gage's Pages committee has learned a few things over the years, one being that the Denison community is very generous. “We will once again host our annual Gage’s Pages Book Drive this spring, thanks to the incredible generosity of our community. In the meantime, we’ll be busy with our Coat Drive to provide “Jackets for Jackets”, our scholarships for graduating DHS seniors, the Baseball and BBQ event that supports Denison Little League, and we’ll join forces again with DISD for the annual 5K for Kindness event in April. We just keep growing, and that’s a good thing – because we know in our hearts that sweet Gage is working right alongside us. This truly is a labor of love!”
Carrie Boettger, lead counselor at DHS, says Gage's Pages “Boxed for Success” project does an amazing job of meeting the personal needs of students at Denison High School. “Gage’s sweet spirit continues to impact the lives of our students in so many meaningful and important ways,” said Boettger.
According to Houston Elementary Principal Kyle Uber, the Houston Bulldogs are grateful for the many Gage's Pages projects that directly benefit students, including “Boxed for Success” as well as the annual coat drive, book drive and other student-centered programs. “Gage's Pages has touched the lives of so many students here at Houston,” said Uber. “We’re all blessed…and so appreciative of this wonderful program.”
A large group of Mayes Elementary students gathered around a few of the many boxes of personal items and school supplies bound for campuses throughout Denison ISD. “Our Gage's Pages projects, which started six years ago with Gage's Pages because he loved books, honor the memory and special spirit of Gage Gordy, my nephew who would have been a third grader at Mayes this year.”