Students embrace spirit of late 3-year-old, urging everyone to ‘Live Like Rocky’

Students wear pink in honor of 3-year-old Rocky Rae Barron during the Habersham Central High School football game on Sept.15, 2023. (Jerry Neace/

At Friday night’s Habersham Central High School football game, the student section was awash in pink. Students wore pink shirts, pink socks, pink pants, pink wigs, and pink makeup.

The “pink-out” was in remembrance of the short but impactful life of Rocky Rae Barron.

The 3-year-old, whose favorite color was pink, died in an automobile accident in Dahlonega on July 13. Her parents, Jay Dee and Cadie Ryals Barron, are Habersham Central graduates.

In her obituary, the couple described their daughter as “a vivacious, loving, spunky, kind-hearted, and independent precious princess.” Since her death, the Barrons have kept Rocky’s memory alive, urging others to latch onto her spirit of kindness and zest for life: Urging them to “Live Like Rocky.”

The students at Central picked up on that theme to honor the young girl and her family. In addition to what they wore, they painted their drum barrels pink with the letters LLR on them and spelled out the night’s theme on posters.

They also passed out and wore pink bracelets.

Organizers Kaydon Bass and Amayah Dooley stand with the LLR drum barrel in front of the student section at Raider Stadium in Mt. Airy, Georgia. (Jerry Neace/

The idea for Friday night’s theme started with Rob Wallace, who instructs Central’s Air Force Jr. ROTC.

Wallace pitched the ‘Live Like Rocky’ idea to HCHS student Amayah Dooley. She and fellow student Kaydon Bass ran with it and got the other students involved. They spread the word through social media and swapped out Adam Sandler night to honor Rocky and her family.

“We came to just help the family. We’re just here to support the family,” Dooley told Now Habersham.

The Habersham Central High School Jr. Air Force ROTC Honor Guard presents the colors before the game. They wore pink cords as part of the Live Like Rocky theme the student body organized. (Jerry Neace/

Reflecting on the significance of the evening, Wallace, a retired Master Sergeant with more than 20 years of military service, teared up. He was clearly moved.

Even his Jr. ROTC cadets took part.

Unable to wear the pink bracelets due to protocol, the honor guard added a splash of color to their uniforms by wearing pink cords over their left shoulders.

11-year-olds and under Habersham County Rec. Dept. cheerleaders joined the LLR campaign by wearing pink socks with their uniforms. (Jerry Neace/

Others at the game showed their support, too.

During pre-game festivities, the community recognized young athletes and cheerleaders from the Habersham County Recreation Department. Many of them wore pink as a tribute to the enduring spirit of one little girl.


This article has been updated to reflect the correct spelling of Amayah Dooley’s last name

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