Movement to honor Ky. boy’s memory goes worldwide

You might start seeing painted rocks around Kentucky. It’s a movement that started in Versailles and has gone worldwide.
Published: May. 9, 2023 at 12:32 PM EDT
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VERSAILLES, Ky. (WKYT) - A little boy’s legacy is bringing the community together in Versailles.

You might start seeing painted rocks around Kentucky. It’s a movement that started in Versailles and has gone worldwide.

“Henry had the biggest personality and the sweetest laugh,” said Jennifer Lucido, Henry’s aunt. “He loved monster trucks and tractors. And he loved bigger than anyone.

You could find 3-year-old William Henry Childers on his little tractor most days.

“Everyone knew that he just loved to ride that thing in pop wheelies,” said Lucido

He loved his ‘jammies,’ his friends, and, most importantly, his family.

“Beautiful, healthy, three-year-old boy,” said family friend Di Boyer.

Henry passed away in 2022, leaving behind a void that can’t be filled,

“It’s just truly an unbearable grief,” said Boyer.

A year later, a community left grieving found a way to honor his memory just in time for what would have been his fourth birthday.

“One day, I was walking and I picked up a rock and was pretty flat and shiny. I was like, ‘Let’s paint rocks.’ I think at that time we were thinking 10 rocks. But this has bloomed into. I mean, we’ve lost count somewhere over 400 probably closer to 500,” said Boyer.

The concept has gone worldwide

“Florida and Iowa. In Ohio and Georgia,” Boyer said.

“We’re gonna have even rocks in Ireland,” said Lucido.

Rocks painted John Deere green and yellow.

“You’ll see a lot of tractors; you’ll see ‘WHC’ which is William Henry Childers,” said Lucido. “There’s some of them that have dinosaurs and fish and boats. Henry loved to ride on the boat at the river. Just anything that symbolizes Henry’s life.”

Hidden in downtown Versailles and beyond.

“We want kids to find these three things can happen they can keep them they can hide them again,” said Boyer. “They can bring them into the bakery or really any shop downtown and get a treat.”

You too can take part in remembering Henry.

“You can pick up a rock and we, you know, paint take markers, I mean, whatever sparks and joy in your life and just put it along the path. Because you never know who’s gonna pick up that rock,” said Boyer.

“The world needs more kindness, and we lost that when Henry left, but he’s still spreading it with these rocks,” said Lucido.

If you decide to paint a rock in Henry’s honor, be sure to share it with #KindnessRocks4Henry.

You can also make a donation to the William Henry Children’s Foundation at any Stock Yards Bank location. The money raised will be going to support kids in need.