Tucker Lee Cross’s family awarded the first round of swim lesson scholarships from the Tucker’s Promise Foundation. While that’s a celebration in itself, this was also a celebration to honor Tucker Lee Cross.
Tucker Lee Cross was full of life. By the time he was 3, he touched the hearts of so many.
“He is everything. I just want people to know how special he was, and how special he is. And this is just another way to show the world that our Tucker was pretty special to us, said Judy Cross, Tucker’s grandmother.
Around a month after Tucker’s third birthday, he drowned in his family’s pool.
“Tucker was a ball of energy, an all-American boy. Just a beautiful little boy. And he played hard. He played so hard. And he was so sweet and so giving and so kind,” Judy Cross said.
After taking a bit of time to grieve, his family knew they had to do something more for him. They started Tucker’s Promise Foundation, a non-profit to provide swim lesson scholarships to children.
“It’s a little hard. Because it’s it’s not even been a year. I didn’t want what happened with our family to kind of fall back in the shadows. And then people forget. And I thought if you’re going to do this, you need to get on the ball immediately,” Judy Cross said.
And Tucker didn’t just leave behind his parents, grandparents, aunts, and uncles, but his big sister too.
“I love Bubby a whole bunch,” 4-year-old Emeery Cross said.
And this foundation won’t only honor Tucker Lee’s legacy but help protect other children.
“I would like to give them a big thank you for the opportunity for Leo now to at least have that opportunity to learn how to float and swim one day,” said Jacqueline Valencia, mother of nine-month-old Leo, who is the youngest kid to receive a swim lesson scholarship so far.
“If one kid gets saved out of all this, it’ll be worth it,” said Michael Cross, Tucker’s grandfather.
“It could happen to anyone. And I will tell you, I was that ‘not me’ person. I was. Yes, me. Unfortunately, yes, me,” Judy Cross said.
“It could save a life,” said Victoria Cross, Tucker’s aunt.
Tucker’s grandmother said their goal was to have just four families get this scholarship because Tucker would have turned 4 in June.
But once she hit four she kept going and awarded 15 families with a scholarship Saturday.
The goal is to expand every year, serving not only DeSoto County but neighboring counties as well, and eventually the whole state.