Tragedy into triumph: Why a man is honoring his brother to raise prom money for teens

Posted at 3:52 PM, Mar 10, 2023
and last updated 2023-03-10 21:30:23-05

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — A man is honoring his murdered brother's memory by taking steps to send other teens to prom.

In 2015, Kenny Hatcher, 18, was hanging out with a group of people in the Vine Hill community when a drive-by shooter opened fire on them. Kenny was killed — a loss his brother and mom have to deal with for the rest of their lives.

"2015 — it was the best and worst year of my life because my daughter was born that year, and shortly after he passed," Javaris Elliott said.

Elliott now tries to be a mentor and positive father figure to teens with single moms.

"The people who did it for me were my youth coaches, teachers at school, people at the Boys and Girls Club, she had the help that she needed," Elliott said.

When he's not working, Elliott coaches little league football. He keeps in touch with the players who are now in high school, and realized some of them may need cash assistance to go to prom.

"I know how much it costs, and the financial burden it is on the parents, especially when people are having a hard time," Elliott said.

So in Kenny's memory, he's trying to raise $1,000 so four students can get suits and dinner. This month, Kenny would have turned 26-years-old.

"Just to let them know somebody watching them, and somebody’s looking out for them, and that people care," Elliott said.

Prom and graduation were two of the last big events Kenny was able to attend.

Kenny Hatcher
Kenny Hatcher

"Having those times when I’m down, for me coaching the younger kids, the youth, I just see a lot of my brother in those kids,” Elliott said. “And I just want to instill it, and try to be a figure to them cause I know a lot of those kids they come from single-parent homes, but they just need that voice."

He hopes when some of his former players graduate, they will be able to live prosperous lives— something that was taken from Kenny. "It will kind of be like my last send-off for them," Elliott said. "I appreciate what you’re doing, keep it up."

You can donate here.If it's successful, he'd love to make it an annual fundraiser.

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