Lonsdale community proud of Zaevion Dobson after ESPYs honor

KNOXVILLE (WATE) – People in the Lonsdale community who know the family of Zaevion Dobson were excited Wednesday night to watch them accept the Arthur Ashe Courage Award at the ESPYs on his behalf.

The Knoxville teen was gunned down last December as he and a group of friends gathered on a front porch in the Lonsdale community. Zaevion died shielding two girls from bullets.

Previous story: Zaevion Dobson’s mother accepts Arthur Ashe Courage ESPY

“Friends kept texting me and calling me and saying, ‘Did you guys see Zack on TV? Did you see him on stage?’ And I said yes. ‘Did you also see the story, the clip?’ Yes, I saw the clip,” described Jose Andres.

Andres grew up playing around the Dobson kids as he grew up in Lonsdale.

“Zenobia did a great job. Oh my goodness. She looked so beautiful. Talking about the problems, about the guns, black men. She did real well,” said Roslyn Hall, Zenobia Dobson’s cousin.

All three Dobson boys attended Lonsdale Elementary School. His elementary school teachers gathering last night for their own watch party.

“Zack and Zaevion spent 6 years here and this is part of the village that raised them,” said their physical education teacher Julie Lowe.

“We all were passing around the tissues, just boohooing. It wasn’t necessarily a sadness. It was just pride,” she added, about the tears shed during the show.

Everyone impressed by the grace shown by Zaevion’s mother Zenobia.

“Because if you have met this family and you have met Mrs. Dobson you know she was the kind of mom who would raise a son to do what he did. This is a lady who when I had my first baby she called me in the hospital to say congratulations. During teacher appreciation week she puts cards in the teachers boxes to say my kids are in high school but we want to thank you for everything you’ve done for us,” explained Zaevion’s former 5th grade teacher Melinda Forgety.

The teachers hope to keep Zaevion’s memory alive in school, as an example to students in future generations.

The Lonsdale community plans to have a homecoming celebration for the family when they return from Los Angeles.

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