SUN PRAIRIE (WKOW) — Sun Prairie High School football players gathered Monday for practice. But for coach Brian Kaminsky, this was much more than a regular scrimmage.
During practice, the teams sold t-shirts to help raise money for the Sun Prairie Disaster Relief Fund.
“We got together right after this [the gas explosion] happened. We knew we wanted to do something to give back,” said Kaminsky. “Football here in Sun Prairie is such a great community deal. We get a lot of people here on a Friday night. We just wanted to bring our community together and say thank you to all the first responders.”
“There was never a question of if we were going to do something. It was always what can we do?” said quarterback and team captain Richie Gillis.
The shirts have the emblem of the police, fire and EMS, along with #SunPrairieStrong and the date of the disaster.
They may be just t-shirts, but for Gillis they say a lot about the strength of the Sun Prairie community.
“I say it’s just incredible how much we’re going to do and how much the community has already done. It really puts things in perspective what one community can do to rally together,” he said.
August 24 is First Responders Night during the first home game of the season for the Sun Prairie High School football team. And Coach Kaminsky wants to do something special to honor those brave men and women.
“We’re going to invite all the first responders to the game. Our goal is to get them here at 6:40 p.m. and meet with us in the locker room. And here at Sun Prairie we have a great tradition. We walk down through the stands before kickoff. We’re going to walk down through the stands and form a tunnel. And then we’ll have all the first responders walk down. And our goal is to have everybody in navy blue t-shirts just helping and being able to say thank you,” Kaminsky said.
“I can’t even imagine the emotions that will be running for all the first responders who will be honored along with all the people in the community who have been affected in some way or another through what happened last month,” Gillis said.
The team will also present a framed jersey to Abby Barr, the widow of firefighter Cory Barr, and the other first responders who were injured in the July explosion.
All proceeds from the sale of the t-shirts goes to the Sun Prairie Disaster Relief Fund.