NEW CUMBERLAND, CUMBERLAND COUNTY- December 1, 2015 marked one year since a New Cumberland teen disappeared while canoeing on the Susquehanna River.
After more than three months of searching, 17-year-old Medard Kowalski’s body was found by the York Hydro Plant.
The community is now coming together to help keep his memory alive.
They’re hoping to do so through “Medard’s House.”
“Medard’s House” is a faith-based, non-profit project led by members of the West Shore Community including Medard’s family and friends.
Their goal is to buy a house in Medard’s honor where local children and teens can go to build healthy relationships with their peers and adults, while also having fun in a safe environment.
Jacob Colello used to wrestle with Medard at Cedar Cliff High School.
He says they came up with this idea several years ago after they had started a smaller youth group of their own.
The group would always meet at Jacob’s mom’s house and it quickly grew from a handful of teens to 50; one of them being Medard.
“It was always just a dream and over the past year or two we’ve been meeting to see if this could actually happen and then once Medard passed, it just made it more of a reason to put it into action,” he said.
Taylor McCauslin was also a friend of Medard’s.
She said, “I think that’s a big thing, where kids come into youth groups and they think, ‘oh I’m this way, I do these things, will they accept me?' and I think that’s a major thing about the house; that it’s going to be a loving environment and that we are here to help you. If you are struggling, there’s going to be people there that are going to be able to help you," McCauslin said.
Right now the group is working with a Realtor to find a house to call home.
They’re also looking for donations, volunteers and mentors to help bring the project to life.
One way they’re raising money is through t-shirt sales which feature a quote they say Medard lived by: “If not you, who? If not now, when?”
The board will be holding their first public meeting on the project Wednesday January 13th at 7:00 p.m.
It will be held at the New Cumberland River Rescue building located at 1127 Market Street.
They say the goal of Wednesday’s meeting is to let people know what this project is all about and to get feedback from the community.
They’re hoping to have a house by March 16th, which will mark one year since Medard’s body was found.
For more information on “Medard’s House” or to find out how you can help, click here.