BRANDON VALLEY, S.D. (KSFY) -- Several schools are celebrating homecoming week right now, but it has been an especially memorable homecoming week at Brandon Valley High School in Brandon Valley, South Dakota.
It all started with an incredibly selfless moment during Monday’s coronation.
“When he announced my name, I got up and said, 'I don't think I can do this,'” Senior Josh Donahoe said. “It was kind of a split second decision, but it wasn't that big of a decision for me. It was kind of a no-brainer for me, because Carson deserves it a lot more.”
Donahoe requested that the crown and title of homecoming king be given to his friend, Carson Rowbatham.
“It was a bit of a stunner, because it would have been an opportunity for Josh to be in the spotlight and he chose to give the spotlight to somebody else,” Brandon Valley Principal Gregg Talcott said.
“It really was surreal. We had no idea that somebody would be that caring and unselfish and give up the crown for Carson and put him in the glory,” Carson’s mom Kara Risty said.
Making Carson the king was not only Josh's goal, but the entire senior class.
“The night before we voted for coronation, I think I texted 150 kids in the senior class to tell them, 'Hey, make sure Carson is on your ballot tomorrow,' and pretty much all of them said he already was,” Donahoe said.
“I wasn't surprised that Josh gave it up but I think everybody on the court was surprised that Carson didn't get it. We were all rooting for him, but I think any of the candidates would have given it to him,” Homecoming queen Hannah Hendrick said.
“He's a huge positive influence on my life and that’s a big part of the reason why I chose to have him up there because he's such a big positive influence on me and everyone at Brandon Valley,” Donahoe said.
His and Carson’s friendship has grown over the past year as Brandon Valley started the Best Buddies program. It helps students invite other special needs students to games, movies and after school hang outs, encouraging an inclusive student body.
“If you don't have a Best Buddies chapter you really should consider it, it will do amazing things for your school,” Principal Talcott said.