FAN-TASTIC: Aquadale student, candidate keeps ‘big’ campaign promise

Jace Mabry is the cool kid on campus, and he has a big fan.
Mabry, who ran for Aquadale Elementary Student Council president on the platform of getting a fan for the gym, kept his campaign promise.

“It has been talked about a lot in the past, by other candidates, but he wanted to make it happen,” said Laura Mabry, Jace’s mom and a first grade teacher at the school. “After he was elected he set to work to see this through. He enlisted the help of his family and other close family friends to help him with this. He started with a letter. He sent it out to numerous businesses and churches and it was also shared on social media as well as by word of mouth. Within a few months he had raised enough money to purchase the fan and also paid for the installation, which totaled a little over $15,000.”

The fan measures 16 feet in diameter and weighs 242 pounds, Laura Mabry said. It has a maximum speed of 108 rpms.

Aquadale Principal Joy Hathcock, left, takes in the fan the school installed thanks to fundraising from Jace Mabry. (Contributed)

“The fan is amazing,” Principal Joy Hathcock said. “While the gym has heat, it is old, drafty and cold in the winter. With no AC in the gym, in May and June and again in August and September, it is commonplace for the building temperatures to be too hot to hold classes. If the outside temperatures reach the high 80s for a couple of days in a row the gym is unusable because the heat would just build up and become unbearable.”

Hathcock said the fan is useful throughout the year.

“In the winter we can run the fan at low speeds and it circulates the warm air closer to the floor keeping temperatures steady,” she said. “In the spring and late summer, the fan can run at high speeds and it cools the air temperature by 15-20 degrees allowing us to hold class in a setting that isn’t stifling hot.”

Hathcock said the school can once again have assemblies in the gym since floor fans were too noisy.

She said Jace’s project can be an inspiration to other students.

“He has shown that even at a young age, large projects can be possible,” Hathcock said. “I know going to some businesses and community members was easy because he knew them and they knew firsthand the struggles he was describing. There were other businesses where I am sure he felt nervous meeting with people he didn’t know, but he didn’t let that stop him. He has shown when you are willing to go beyond your comfort zone great things can be accomplished.

“We are very proud of Jace and his work and proud of our community for coming together for our kids. Numerous businesses and families donated large and small sums to make this happen.”