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Heartfelt Gratitude - Harrison Family Offers Thanks To Community
The Harrisons are alive and well and prospering.

The five family members that contributed so much to Riverbank High School sports teams, student government and music organizations around the year 2000 are living in southern California and Florida and have started no less than three successful businesses.

In an e-mail sent on behalf of his brothers Joe and Daniel and sisters Brettany and Asia, David Harrison recalled how all five of the siblings grew up in Riverbank and Oakdale, became wards of court due to extenuating family circumstances, and lived with various families in Riverbank, Oakdale and Modesto as they attended Riverbank High.

Now twins David and Daniel have started a leather accessory manufacturing business called Leviticus Apparel in Simi Valley that was featured last April in the Ventura County Star newspaper; developed a popular iPhone application titled Song Writer that has landed among the top 25 most popular iPhone apps for its category; and are part owners of a booming restaurant in Florida.

In the case of all three companies, they are donating part of the proceeds to efforts to end child prostitution and human trafficking and to support foster care programs.

"We have many Riverbank/Oakdale/Modesto teachers, police officers, business owners, coaches and families that played big parts in our success by giving us love and support when we needed it. This is a testament to the love of a community," David Harrison wrote. "We want those who stood with us to know how much we love them. Our community did so much for us."

The Harrisons were all top athletes with the boys contributing in track and football and the girls competing in track and championship cross country teams.

All three of the boys played football on the same varsity team coached by Sean Leveroos when the Bruins in 2002 reached the playoffs for the first time in the school's history.

Asia and Bretanny ran on track and field teams that were state contenders one year and on cross country teams that won section titles four times in a row, were undefeated in the Trans-Valley League and earned third place in the 2003 state championship.

Joe was also involved in student government and was twice Associated Student Body president and three times vice president while David was well known in school for his skill on the guitar.

In his e-mail, David proudly listed the Harrison family as setting four school records, winning 13 all league awards, garnering 11 varsity letters and helping earn five consecutive TVL titles.

"The community took good care of them," said retired RHS teacher and coach Bruce Edwards of the Harrisons' living arrangements outside school. "Joe stayed with us a couple of years and then with Monte Wood (a current RHS teacher and coach). Asia and Brettany lived with their cross country coach Jeep Oliveira (now a school board trustee) and I believe with another teacher at Cardozo School.

"The Harrisons are survivors. They figured out how to get along with people. They are great kids. They were all in sports," added Edwards. "Joe and Jenny (Edwards' daughter) graduated together in 2003. The girls were younger and graduated some years later. I keep in touch with them. I went to Joe's wedding a year ago in Simi Valley."

Oliveira also said he keeps in touch with the Harrisons.

"David is living in Florida and running a restaurant, while Joe and Daniel are in Simi Valley," he said. "Asia is there too. She is married and has a child. Bretanny works as a leasing agent in Los Angeles."

Now 25, David and Daniel started Leviticus Apparel about five years ago and have drawn mounting interest and orders for their handcrafted leather wrist cuffs, which they make in the garage at their home.

They named their company Leviticus because that Old Testament book lays down laws for believers to follow when entering a relationship with God. Both brothers attend Cornerstone Church in Simi Valley. David with his wife Julie also is studying for a degree in Biblical studies.

Their drive to help foster care organizations may well stem from their own unstable childhood. Their parents separated when Daniel and David were teens. All the children went to live with their father in Modesto until he was arrested for numerous cases of drunken driving and all five were then placed in the foster care system.

Daniel noted that the siblings overcame their troubles with help from the supportive community and they hope to offer assistance in the same way through contributions from their company.