Last September, as everyone in Niceville knows, we lost a local student to a tragic football injury during a season opener. His name was Taylor Haughen, “T”. He was 15 and the only child to two amazing parents. The entire community of Niceville was devastated as thousands attended T’s funeral. Memorials were springing up outside of the Niceville High School and the name Taylor was made out of flowers along the fence.
One day, just after the accident, the lead singer of the All American Rejects (one of Taylor’s favorite bands) was driving through Niceville (we get lots of celebrities vacationing in our area because of the beautiful beaches) and he noticed the flowers and memorial at NHS. He saw signs all over town and heard stories as he vacationed for the next couple of weeks. He was so impressed by the support and love of this community that he and his band decided to get involved. It’s hard to imagine any positive coming from the death of a child but The Taylor Haughen Memorial Foundation was formed.
The foundation provides awards and scholarships to students who exemplified the character that Taylor did. He was a remarkable young man! Last night, March 18, 2009, two days after what would have been Taylor’s 16th birthday, there was a concert to benefit the Taylor Haughen Foundation. And guess who performed, FOR FREE (all proceeds went to T’s foundation)!! Yep, The All American Rejects! They made a stop off of their World Tour to come to Niceville and perform for a sold out crowd of Taylor Haughen supporters! It was awesome and inspiring. The band expressed how impressed they were with the people of Niceville and how blessed they were to be performing for us. WOW!
As a mother of two teenagers, I was overwhelmed that a popular rock band would come to our small town and perform for free to benefit one of our local “heroes” and his family. Thank you to The All American Rejects. I liked your music before but I LOVE it now and I love you guys too!