Bench dedicated to Franklin drowning victims

FRANKLIN, Ind. - For years to come, football fans at Franklin Community High School will see a permanent reminder of the two students who drowned trying to save a friend this summer.

A bench was dedicated in honor of Michael Chadbourne, 16, and Jason Moran, 17, at the first home game of the season Friday night.

Their families stood together to support one another during the dedication -- with the memories from the June accident still fresh in their minds.

Two plaques were displayed on the bench -- one for each victim with his football jersey number.

"We just wanted to have it somewhere where it could always be here permanently on the field, so that's the best place where we could have it," Franklin Community High School Athletic Director John Regas said.

Alongside the families of Chadbourne and Moran was Sarah McLevish -- their friend who they tried to save after she was swept over a dam in Edinburgh’s Big Blue River.

"Tonight we are really honoring Jason and Michael and hoping that Sarah gets well and continues to get better," sophomore Annika Cooper said.

Throughout the game, the community wore reminders of the two young men who should have been on the field.

Students sold "Franklin Strong" pens and T-shirts to make sure the memory of their two classmates will continue to live on.

"The community, the students, the faculty, teachers, everyone has really, really done a great job of coming together, making T-shirts, making buttons, making hats, making bracelets, doing fundraisers for the community and the families involved," Regas said.

The parents of both teens came up with the idea for the bench.

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