For years, the senior boys at San Antonio Christian School have hosted barbecues to raise money as a class gift for the school.

But this year, they did something different: they gave the $4,012 they raised to the First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs.

For weeks, the senior boys encouraged everyone on their campus to spend $10 on a barbecue plate Friday. They spent Thursday night cooking up a storm.

“They had a huge grill here, and they barbecued briskets and ribs all night long,” said Tracy Smith, the school’s director of development.

Pastor Frank Pomeroy, whose church became the site of the worst mass shooting in modern Texas history, attended the lunch on Friday and spoke to the students. Many of the girls were in charge of desserts, making almost all of the 79-student senior class involved in some way or another.

“He prayed with the students and gave them hope and encouragement, that even if you go through hard times and difficult times, we still have hope and the sun still shines,” Smith said.

Joshua Pink, a senior, came up with the idea “and everybody just came behind him and said, ‘Let’s do this,’” Smith said.

She said the effort was a message to Sutherland Springs: “You are not forgotten.”

sfosterfrau@express-news.net