For the past two days, students at Belvidere Central Middle School have been crowding around a special display at their school, one surrounding the life of 14-year-old David Wolf, their classmate who drowned Monday night during swim team practice.
“If I had three wishes,” David wolf wrote, “I’d wish that everyone got a vacation, maybe a boat and surely world peace.” It's the last paper the 14-year-old wrote.
Wolf drowned Monday night during swim team practice at the Belvidere YMCA; that paper as well as pictures and messages from his friends are now on display at the middle school.
Red ribbons are tied around wrists, a banner hangs in the eighth grade hall and his locker is now full of memories.
"He always had me smiling, and whenever I'd say something stupid he'd always laugh at me," says Kelly O’Brien, David’s friend and classmate.
"He didn't have one bad bone in his body. He never made fun of anyone," adds friend Sarah Pacini.
Ashlee Brooks wrote a poem about David. She sang in the chorus with him, and just Monday she was congratulating him on getting his first solo.
"It was I'll Be Home for Christmas, and he is home," says Brooks.
In the coming months a tree will be planted outside the school in memory of the straight A student.
"The respect that he showed adults, the respect he showed his fellow classmates, David was just a good all-around person," says principal Harold Gries.
Gries says it'll likely be an oak tree, one that will last for hundreds of years, so David's memory will live forever.
O’Brien says, “I'm never going to forget him. He's kind of hard to forget."
Counselors have also been called in to help students deal with the loss. David's mom also came to the school Wednesday to talk with all of the 8th graders.
David's funeral will be Saturday morning at Heartland Church.