Terrence “Trey” Zwicker III’s life ended May 11, 2011.
The 14-year-old’s body was found behind Liberty High School in Louisville. Police say he was stabbed and beaten.
His stepfather, Joshua Gouker, and 15-year-old stepbrother Joshua Young, have been indicted on murder charges. They have pleaded not guilty in the well-publicized case. A trial date has been set for this fall.
Trey’s grandmother, Shelly Stewart has been keeping up with the case, seeking justice for her grandson and searching for ways to keep his memory alive.
Last year, she held a small benefit at her home in his honor and donated toys to Toys for Tots.
This year, the Hodgenville woman is planning a larger event that will help hundreds of LaRue County children.
The Trey Zwicker Memorial Toy Bike Run on Oct. 13 will raise funds and toys to be donated to Ann “Snookie” Morrison’s volunteer group, Santa’s Helpers. The ride will be held at the LaRue County Fairgrounds with a free continental breakfast to begin the day. A toy or $10 donation is accepted per rider.
This will be the 46th year the volunteers, founded by Snookie’s husband Bobby Morrison, will provide new and good used toys to children on Christmas Eve.
“I read last year about (the Santa bus) breaking down and having to be towed,” said Stewart. “I thought I could help. I called Snookie and asked if she would accept donations.”
Stewart hadn’t met Snookie before this year but she has donated toys to Santa’s Helpers in the past.
“I have 10 grandkids and would donate all their old toys,” she said.
Snookie called the fundraiser “a blessing.”
“We’ve thought many times ‘would we be able to pull this off again,’” she said. “I’m just very pleased she chose us.”
Trey and Christmas
Stewart described her grandson as “a boy who never got to grow up” but was concerned for his younger sisters, MaKenzie and Autumn.
At age 14, he found a job at McDonald’s in Louisville and was saving his money to buy Christmas gifts for them.
She said Trey’s concern for others at Christmas gave her the idea for the fundraiser.
Trey’s homelife was in constant turmoil before his death, Stewart said. There was reported drug activity, abuse and animal cruelty.
“My daughter’s house was a warzone,” Stewart said.
But Trey wanted something different for himself and his sisters.
“At 14, he was mature enough to know he had to take control of his life so he could take care of his sisters,” said Stewart.
Trey, a freshman at Seneca High School, was considering joining ROTC. One of his uncles, a former Marine, encouraged the thought.
“Trey knew he would need a good job – he knew he would have to raise his sisters,” she said.
Her other grandchildren miss Trey and don’t really understand what has happened, Stewart said.
Alex Reynolds, 7, and his 5-year-old sister Abby, like to draw pictures for Trey and ask their grandmother to attach them to balloons so they can float to heaven.
“They talk a lot about Trey being in heaven,” she said. “It’s hard to answer their questions.”
Stewart said her grandson was a “good kid.” The most mischief he got into was riding a skateboard in a church parking lot.
“Ever since he was a baby he had a little line down his nose,” said Stewart. “I’d tell him when he was born the angels pinched his nose and told him he was perfect. Now I feel bad because the angels took him too soon.”
Stewart said four motorcycle groups have expressed interest in the ride. Kickstands are up no earlier than 10 a.m. and no later than 11 a.m.
A chili and hotdog lunch with sides and drinks will be served after the riders return. The cost is $6.
Non-bikers are welcome to attend. There will be plenty of food, games like cornhole and washers and music. The silent auction has a variety of donated items including a purebred puppy.
Stewart’s sister, Sherry Angell, will provide Karaoke and Louisville activist and founder of the Fight Crimes Against Children Partnership Christopher 2X may speak. A band has asked to play and Duane Stewart will play Santa.
Several businesses have donated paper goods and food.
“I’d like to make this an annual event,” said Stewart, “maybe sooner or later buy a new (Santa) bus.”
“No matter what we do,” she added. “It won’t bring Trey back.”
For more information about the fundraiser or to make donations or volunteer, contact Stewart at 270-358-5946 or Angell at 502-905-4162.