KEMAH, Texas – Family and friends of a police chief who died over the summer gathered Thursday to announce the establishment of a scholarship fund in his honor.
The Chris Reed Foundation was created in honor of Kema's fallen chief of police. Reed died in June after falling off of a boat a couple of miles from the Texas City Dike.
Since Reed's death, family and friends have come together to honor his legacy. Reed wore many a hat: school board trustee, wrestling coach, dad, Keemah's police chief. He did so, said Jana Reed, his wife, because that's who he was.
"There's so many lives he touched that we weren't aware of," Jana Reed said.
Many of those lives were young adults in need of direction.
"Someone came to me after the service and said if it wouldn't have been for him I would have never went back to college," she continued.
Reed says she and other community members met on July 30 to plan what would become the Chris Reed Foundation.
July 30 would have been the couple's 29th wedding anniversary.
"It's been very hard. It's been very hard. It's a struggle every day," Jana Reed said, speaking publicly for the first time since her husband's death.
Hard as that struggle was -- and continues to be -- the family says it's not grief that's guided them. Rather, it's Chris Reed's spirit: a giver who served his community in many ways.
That's why they gathered Thursday: Jana, daughters Logan and Alexis, along with friends to announce the formation of the Chris Reed Foundation -- a scholarship program.
"This is about helping someone who maybe doesn't have the best home life, who couldn't necessarily afford their cap and gown or their senior pictures. That's what we want to do. Help those who need little push," Reed said.
Jana Reed serves as chair of the Chris Reed Foundation.
The scholarship program aims to provide financial assistance for high school students in the Bay Area, by helping them to prepare for college or vocational school.
Money could go toward graduation expenses, application fees, school supplies, tutoring, among other needs.
Chief Reed's life of service lives on through his children and many others who now walk in his footsteps.
"I can only imagine what he did out there. He touched so many lives. It was truly awesome and it's kinda intimidating to carry on this legacy but I know in my heart that I will with him inside me," said Logan Reed, Reed's daughter who also serves as vice-chair of the foundation.
Learn more at ChrisReedFoundation.com.