It is because Hillsboro is such a giving community, Shelby Wertsbaugh said, that things have continued to snowball since she and singer Rachel Hale shot a music video with the Hillsboro High School band last fall.
Full Sail Unversity in Winter Park, Fla., where Wertsbaugh graduated with a degree in film, is doing a story about the “Can You Hear The Sound” video that was shot a Richards Memorial Field, about Wertsbaugh’s part in it, and about how her hometown community came together to pull it off.
Hale is returning to Hillsboro to perform at a local church and the HHS baccalaureate on May 15, and one of their friends at the Nashville Life Church received more than 300 books recently from the Hillsboro Elementary School to help with a project to build two libraries in Kenya.
“I think it’s just because it’s such a good community, because without the community we would have never done the video, without the community Rachel would have never come back, and without the community all these books for Kenya would never have been collected,” Wertsbaugh, a 2008 HHS graduate, said Monday. “It’s just kind of an honor to be from a community that helps so much. I haven’t lived there since high school and I feel like if ever need anything, I can come back.”
When Wertsbaugh came back to produce Hale’s video last fall, she said the reason was beecause she wanted help students at her alma mater know that their dreams are attainable. She said she hopes the article Full Sail University is putting together will do the same thing.
“I read the rough draft and its pretty cool how they’re honoring Hillsboro. I hope it inspires more kids in the town to do what they love,” Wertsbaugh said.
Wertsbaugh and Hale’s friend at the Nashville Life Church, where they all attend, is Sarah Rose. She’s an elementary school teacher in Franklin, a community near Nashville, who spends her summers in Kenya teaching and building schools. Rose is the one hoping to build two libraries in Kenya this summer.
“Hillsboro Middle school came though and donated well over 300 gently used text books and chapter books. I have a photo of my car literally filled to the brim with books,” Wertsbaugh said. “There were so many, the cart wheels broke, and Diana Michaels and my mom had to help shuffle them out the (school) door.”
Wertsbaugh and Hale are teaming to help sell T-shirts for Rose’s organization, Retouch, a non-profit group that brings education and discipleship to children on the coast of Kenya. The shirts have an image of Africa on the front with the words “Kenya Hear The Sound” spelled across it. The shirts are $20 and can be purchased at www.teespring.com/kenyahearthesound1 only until May 23.
“Since Hillsboro has been involved in all of this, I thought it’d be cool to share, especially the kids who were apart of the video. I figured they made the video, now they need the shirt,” Wertsbaugh said.
In addition to Hale returning to Hillsboro for a Country Music Night with a Gospel Message event at 11 a.m. May 15 at the First Church on 50, located at 1000 W. Main St., Hillsboro, she will also be a speaker at the HHS baccalaureate at 4:30 p.m. May 15 at the high school. There’s also a possibility that Wertsbaugh and Hale could shoot another video in Hillsboro. Wertsbaugh said if that happens, it will have a much bigger budget than the first one.
“Hillsboro was such a blessing, I’m honored to come back to my hometown and do it all over again,” Wertsbaugh said. “I can’t give out too many details yet on what we are planning. All I can say is we are hoping to shoot it within the next few months.”
Reach Jeff Gilliland at 937-402-2522 or on Twitter @13gillilandj.