It’s becoming more uncommon each and every day to find good work ethic, passion and drive in the young people today. There is one young lady that exemplifies every one of these categories.
Taylor Leonard, a junior at Cape Fear High School, joined the SwampDogs during the summer of 2017 to gain experience as an athletic trainer. During her time with the Dogs, Taylor saw a need for an AED device at the ballpark. From the time she had the thought in her head, she started working on a plan to remedy the situation.
“This past summer I was given the opportunity to intern with the athletic training staff here at The Swamp,” said Taylor. “When I learned that we did not have an AED on site, I immediately started looking for a way to provide one. With the help of Deputy Chief Dale Spiller, and the rest of the Cumberland Road Fire Department, I received a grant to present an AED to the Fayetteville SwampDogs. Cardiac arrest can happen anytime, anywhere. This AED will help with saving someone’s life if this were to occur. I am honored to be able to present this life saving device to the SwampDogs!”
Growing up in a family of emergency personnel, Taylor has made friends and contacts throughout the community. Calling on a friend at Cumberland Road Fire Station, she was able to find out the station was replacing their equipment and would have one available for her cause. This didn’t just happen on the first call – Taylor worked on this from mid-June until the end of the SwampDogs’ season.
Jay Leonard, a captain with the City of Fayetteville Fire Department and Taylor’s father had this to say: “A true servants heart, that’s how I describe our daughter. She has always been one step ahead in planning things and looking out for others. The opportunity to intern with the SwampDogs last year helped push her more towards her dream. With her exposure to her parents’ careers, she knows how vital quick intervention is. We are beyond proud of how she always looks out for others need.”
Finally, on a rainy, chilly day Taylor was able to present her gift to the Fayetteville SwampDogs. Along with Cumberland Road Fire Department, Taylor presented her AED to SwampDogs’ general manager Jeremy Aagard.
“We are extremely proud of Taylor and grateful for her giving ways,” said Aagard. “The way she puts others first is incredible and mature beyond her years. We are so appreciative for this and, though we hope we never have to use it, honored to receive it.”