Madeline Shook, a 16-year-old junior track star, died when her car ran off Possum Track Road and into some trees in northern Wake County the morning of October 16. The State Highway Patrol said speed was a factor.
On Monday, just as Cardinal Gibbons students do every Monday of the year, a group of sophomore volunteers prepared hot meals to serve to about 300 people at Shepherd's Table Soup Kitchen in downtown Raleigh.
.@cghsnc students are back to serving at Shepherd’s Table Soup Kitchen just as their classmate, Madeline Shook used to do. The 16-yr-old was killed in a wreck on her way to school last week. #ABC11 pic.twitter.com/s4cOGYKWVd— Andrea Blanford (@AndreaABC11) October 22, 2018
"Being here today is part of who we are," said Gary Meyerl, Cardinal Gibbons Outreach Ministry Director. "Service is a part of the way of life at Cardinal Gibbons High School and so it's very natural for us to be here. There's sort of a heaviness in our hearts though, realizing that we've lost a member of our community and that we're still, as a community, grieving. But at the same time, celebrating her life and the life that she lived."
Circling up with their classmates and a few parents before the crowds came in, one student prayed for Shook's family.
It was exactly one year before her death that Shook volunteered at the soup kitchen alongside her cross-country teammates.
"I just happened to see her and talk with her a little bit and tell her she was doing a really great job, she was a great worker," said Tamara Gregory, Shepherd's Table Soup Kitchen Executive Director. "She just hit me as a spunky, vivacious, young, sweet girl."
As students still grieve the loss of their friend and classmate who they described as kind and full of joy, they say they're finding purpose and some comfort in giving back just as she once did.
"Madeline's spirit continues to live on," Meyerl said. "This is just another way in which we can pay tribute to her and the life that she lived by continuing to live the life that we are called to live through the Gospel."