“I just wanted to send you a personal note of thanks. After having interviewed you about the Kendrick Fincher Memorial Foundation at Channel 18 (Community Access Television, Fayetteville), I remembered the warning signs of dehydration, heat exhaustion, and heat stroke.

My car died yesterday, and after walking a few miles in the sun, I realized I was experiencing heat exhaustion. My husband was with me. I very nearly went unconscious. I had difficulty moving, was extremely dizzy, nauseous and so forth. I could barely move after a while. Eventually, he was able to get me to a friend’s house, where I was cooled down with ice packs, given Gatorade, and so forth. At any rate, before I got really sick, he and I were able to talk about what was happening, and we both knew the seriousness of the situation. I later developed chills and a headache. Today, I still have a mild fever and the headache, but am otherwise okay.

Thanks for informing the public about hydration and the dangers of heat-related illnesses. I’ll probably give the Foundation a plug on my Facebook page. Had I not been aware of what was happening to me, I might have not understood the full seriousness of it.”

– Shannon Caine


“My name is Kenyell Ollie and I marched with the Southwind Drum and Bugle Corps out of Lexington, KY, the summer of 2001. My summer was cut short due to suffering from heat exhaustion that could have been very much prevented if it had been cared for and my instructional staff (including the corps director) would have been educated on the subject of heat illness.

I am now an extremely proud board member of the only non-profit organization of its kind in the nation, the Kendrick Fincher Memorial Foundation (KFMF). I can truly relate to Kendrick and could have very easily been in his shoes. We were born only days apart, his birthday is Feb. 5, 1982, and mine is Feb. 12, 1982. Unfortunately, due to his football coaches’ lack of heat illness prevention knowledge, Kendrick suffered a heat stroke on the very first day of practice. We both were 13 years old and on opposite sides of the state of Arkansas. Kendrick was rushed from Rogers to Little Rock to the intensive care unit of the Arkansas Children’s Hospital. 18 days later, he died from heat stroke complications.

I was 19 when I suffered from heat exhaustion. I lasted the first few weeks of the first tour before my body began to show signs of extreme fatigue. I would be dizzy for extended periods of time, struggle to focus at times, and would suffer from dry mouth. It wasn’t until we reached Wisconsin on a laundry day that I walked myself into a local doctor to get examined. Shortly after walking in, I was diagnosed with suffering from heat exhaustion and was told that I was lucky that I caught this when I did because I was rapidly approaching a heat stroke. I informed my caption head and he just shrugged it off and told me to simply drink more water. I did as he instructed and blacked out shortly after during rehearsal. I would never march DCI again but am very thankful that I was able to step in and help myself before it got life threatening. Kendrick was not so lucky.”

– Kenyell Ollie, January 2008
Board Member 2008-2011


“Our 16 year old boy collapsed at the end of an especially long, hard and hot, mid day football practice in August 2008. To make matters worse, we know now that he arrived at the practice that day in an already dehydrated condition. We were most fortunate, however, because of a quick reaction by trained coaches and athletic trainers and being located next door to Emergency Medical Services and across the street from St. Thomas Hospital Emergency Room. Our son survived but most student athletes would probably not be as fortunate.

My wife and I agree that PREVENTION of heat related illness through education is the best, most reliable path to take for the safety of our young athletes and this program, if used properly, can show you the way.”

– John Danieley, Nashville, TN, October 2009