More Than a Match: Local school honoring Josie Freier - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

More Than a Match: Local school honoring Josie Freier

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Josie's father speaks out about his daughter's legacy Josie's father speaks out about his daughter's legacy

Toys for Tots has always had a special place in Rick Freier's heart. As a Marine, he worked with the organization for many years, and his family was always right there beside him. "The final product is a smile on a kid's face! What's not to love about that? It's a good program."

But just a year ago, tragedy struck the Freier family. Rick's teenage daughter, Josie, was killed in a car crash last October. Instead of bringing flowers to her memorial service, the family asked people to donate a toy in her honor. Josie had inherited her dad's love of Toys for Tots. The Spokane community overwhelmed the family and Toys for Tots with its generosity. Last year, Spokane donated thousands of toys in Josie's honor. "They say they aren't really gone if we don't forget them. So we keep remembering her and honoring her by making someone smile, that's a good thing," Freier said.

And this year, that outpouring of support continues, led by North Pines Junior High's Wrestling coach, Joe Clark. His team dedicates a a match every year to a military hero. This year, it picked Rick Freier to honor.

"It makes like they are doing more than just wrestling in a match. It makes them feel like they are involved in the community, like they can give back," Clark said.

And the team will be selling tee-shirts to raise money for Toys for Tots. Each shirt was donated, and all ten dollars will go for Toys for Tots. Mr. Freier appreciates the support from the team. "There's a part of me that will always wish that we weren't raising toys in memory of my daughter. But we are trying to do something good. And stand up and honor that quote that I mentioned earlier...'It would mean a lot to know that I made you smile.' It's on the back of her tombstone in her handwriting. And every time I go visit that I see that. Toys for Tots is that chance to make someone smile. It's just a ways to honor her and I feel real blessed that Coach Clark at North Pines is doing this," said Freier. The match is at 3:00 on Thursday at North Pines Junior High.

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