Helping hands support Hemphill teen after both his parents pass away

Nick Leblanc lost both of his parents the same week he graduated from high school. Now the community is determined to make sure he is able to pursue his dreams of going to college and becoming a game warden.

A little more than a month ago, Nick Leblanc graduated from Hemphill High School. But within one week, he lost both of his parents. His father's service was the morning after he walked across the stage; Later in the week, Leblanc had to unexpectedly rush his mother to the hospital where she later died as well.
It was a tragic moment for a young man, ready to go to college and pursue his dream of becoming a game warden.
"Face it and move on, it's sad, but I just got to keep on going," said Leblanc, who has received a ton of support from his friends and neighbors in Sabine County.
Immediately, the community came together to host a string of bake sales, raising $2,000 for Leblanc's college tuition fund. But his mother's tragic sudden death forced him to make the decision to help out his older brother and use the money for her cremation and memorial service. 
When Benny Bennett heard that story, he knew the community alongside Toledo Bend could reach out and do much more than a bake sale. "It doesn't take much, just a few dollars to make a difference in someone's life," he said. 
And after a few dollars here and few there spent on raffle tickets for a rifle donated by John Strickland's Sabine National Armory, the community one-upped the amount raised, tallying over $3,000 for Leblanc. Then, another amazing moment happened. Several participants joined a "split the pot" that raised nearly $3,200, with the winner, Jessia Meeks, receiving half of the winnings and giving it back to Leblanc, bringing his to over $6,200.

Now, thanks to several businesses in the Hemphill community, Nick Leblanc will be able to attend Blinn Junior College, keep aiming to transfer to Sam Houston State, and eventually become a game warden and serve the community and county that has supported him during one of the hardest moments in his life.
This story was shared with 12 News by Daily News & More, a Sabine County online and print newspaper.

© 2017 KBMT-TV


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