WELCH — A devoted community and a group of caring friends are hosting a benefit auction and dinner for a high school senior who is facing difficult times this holiday season.

The benefit will support Welch High School senior Sky Triece. The 17-year-old’s mother, Eva Triece, of Miami, passed away on Nov. 16 while his father, Floyd, has been living in a nursing home for several years after surviving a stroke. Before his mother passed away, she was in and out of the hospital for more than two months.

The dinner will start at 6 p.m. on Saturday at the Welch Civic Center. The auction will begin shortly after dinner at 7 p.m.

There will be chili served with an option of a chili dog or frito chili pie. The money donated and raised will be given to Triece to help with living and college expenses.

Welch Public School counselor Janey Sutton said Triece is taking concurrent classes at Rogers State University and hopes to attend Oklahoma State University (OSU) after graduation.

According to Sutton, Triece is involved with the National Honors Society, Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA) and Student Council.

Despite facing life’s hardest obstacles, the senior has remained positive and in good spirits. The school, the Welch community and friends of Triece have helped him along the way.

“The community has supported him 100 percent,” Sutton said. “We’ve had a lot of people call and donate to our seniors to make the chili. They have donated food, drinks, silverware, plates and cups for the event. We’ve had a lot of donations and they have also donated items for the auction after dinner. This event was put together by his friends.”

Welch seniors Chase Herd and Shelby Elliott are good friends of Triece and are the ones who organized the benefit/auction. Herd said Triece is very outgoing, would do anything for anybody and has been emotionally strong.

“The thing that really got all of us, is when we did hear about his mom passing, like two weeks before she did pass, nobody knew but him and his close family that she was going to be passing away,” Herd said. “He still came to school with an open mind and a really good attitude. We couldn’t even tell this was going on. Right now, you can tell that it’s hard for him but he’s still the same guy we all know.”

After hearing that Triece had to be the caretaker of both of his parents, the two students wanted to give back to their loving friend. Herd and Elliott stepped in to be the support system that Triece needed.

“Since he’s a good friend, we wanted to help out in some way,” Herd said. “Our community is also very giving. I had a friend whose grandfather died and they had a benefit dinner where they raised over $10,000 in one night. That’s the thing I love about this community. No matter what, they’re always there to help. All of the money we make will be given to Sky. We want him to have a good Christmas and be ready for college.”

Triece is currently living with his Aunt Linda and Uncle Robert. Herd had asked Triece if he was OK with them putting on a benefit for him and he humbly accepted the kind gesture.

Elliott has been lifelong friends with Triece and their families are very close. She said Triece always has a smile on his face no matter what’s going on in life and would never do harm to anyone.

As his best friend, Elliott helps take Triece’s mind off of the negative thoughts and focuses on the positives.

“We go out to Miami a lot and eat or watch a movie,” Elliott said. “We also play music, dance and just have fun.”

Elliott said Triece is excited for college and the donations will help give him the comfort he needs to get on his feet. The senior said that if she were going through a similar situation, Triece would be there for her in a heartbeat.

His friends said no matter what happens, they want to assure Triece that they will always have his back.

“We just want him to know that we love him and that we’re here for him,” Herd said.

For more information or to make a donation, contact Chase at 918-244-0022 or Shelby at 918-244-0089.