At AHS's last home basketball game, the "mom trio" was at it again with yet another fundraiser. Here, Amanda Henson explains to a Bulldog fan the dynamics of the "boot" door security device (black steel, two-prong object just in front of her), as Hillary Buxton (foreground) and Kristin Purdy (glasses) look on - Ada Herald
At AHS's last home basketball game, the "mom trio" was at it again with yet another fundraiser. Here, Amanda Henson explains to a Bulldog fan the dynamics of the "boot" door security device (black steel, two-prong object just in front of her), as Hillary Buxton (foreground) and Kristin Purdy (glasses) look on. (Ada Herald/Joe Schriner)

ADA — This is the brainchild of three Ada “moms on a mission.”

The “boot” in this case is a custom, interior-door security device – at $350 per door in the Ada school system. These moms, with more inertia (and fundraisers) than anyone thought possible, have already raised a phenomenal $23,000 since last year.

They started fundraising shortly after the “Parkland school shooting” in Florida.

Their goal: $44,000.

The moms: Kristin Purdy, Hillary Buxton and Amanda Henson.

The industrial steel boots, when engaged, can withstand 16,000 pounds of pressure in preventing a door from opening, according to “The Lockout Co.” literature. The boots themselves weigh only five pounds and are easily installed in an emergency.

But that’s not all.

Part of the fundraising also includes for “rapid response door placards.” These are “highly visible,” reflective-lettering room number steel placards that stick out at a 90 degree angle from just above the top of the classroom doors.

So if, say, an active shooting is going on, rapid first responders, if tipped to the location of the shooter, can easily pin point a room from a distance off.

Ms. Henson said the room numbers in the schools are, currently, just flush against the wall.

Musing about it all, Ms. Buxton, while enthused about the community response to the project, was nonetheless disturbed at the state of a society that would necessitate something like this.

“It’s sad,” she lamented. “We shouldn’t have to be in this (societal) position. But we are.”

Amanda Henson added an addendum to this.

“We never want to say (in retrospect after an incident), ‘I wish we would have…”

The mothers, with their kids’ safety at stake, haven’t been shy about the fundraising.

They have tables at the football games, tables at basketball games, have been on radio stations, talked to civic groups, did a bowling alley fundraiser.

There’s no letting up until the goal is reached.

“It’s too important,” said Ms. Purdy.

The trio said they took the idea to the Ada School Board initially and were given an immediate green light. What’s more, they said this is a good supplement to what’s already being done, noting each Hardin County school now has a security officer walking the halls during school hours.

Ada has a retired sheriff’s deputy.

The mothers assured that “100 percent of all donations” go directly to the purchase of the boots and room number placards. Those who want to help can mail their donations to: “Boots for Bulldogs,” P.O. Box 244, Ada, Ohio 45810.

Note: Tragic irony. The night I interviewed the mothers, was AHS’s last home basketball game against Bluffton. I interviewed the mothers at halftime at their display table.

In the second half of the game, there was a tremendously ill-advised (yet nonetheless innocent) Ada “Super Fan” prank. Some of these kids had filled paper bags with air. And at one point, as a Bluffton player raised the ball to shoot a foul shot and amidst a lot of yelling, the fans popped the bags – sounding, alarmingly, like a series of gun shots.

The gym went silent for a second.

People, then seeing the bags, breathed a sigh of relief. And the Bluffton player, who’d missed the foul shot, was allowed to redo the shot.

But for that brief moment, Ms. Buxton’s words from just a little earlier at halftime came back to me: It, indeed, is sad that we’re at a place in society when most everyone’s initial response to the popping bags prank was: “gunshots.”