Red Raiders rally around Woonsocket: Wagner raises $4,400 for families impacted by fatal crash
Wagner High School won on the field and off the field on Friday.
The Red Raiders won their first football game of the season with a 20-0 victory over Woonsocket/Wessington Springs/Sanborn Central in Wessington Springs. But the biggest triumph came with a gesture before kickoff.
The Woonsocket community was recently rocked by the deaths of three teenagers in a fatal car crash on Sept. 14. The three teenagers were Kristian Kesary, 14; Dylan Klich, 14; and Jordan Klich, 15.
In Wagner, the student council organized fundraisers and a number of local businesses donated money for families impacted by the crash.
“We all kind of knew that something was going to happen just knowing that we played them Friday night and we couldn’t go into their community knowing what just happened and not do something,” Wagner High School Student Council Advisor Tera Koupal said.
On Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, Wagner students were given the option to wear pajamas ($1), a hat ($1) or both ($2) if they donated money to the cause. The student council sold strips of duct tape for $1 and they were used to duct tape Wagner Principal Neil Goter to the bleachers in the gymnasium.
The fundraising efforts totaled $4,400 and it was presented to the families prior to Friday’s game, which also included a moment of silence.
“During the moment of silence, that was probably one of the hardest parts because you could hear the sniffles and just the heartbreak that was going on in the community,” Koupal said.
Members of the families were also given star quilts, which are considered sacred gifts in Native American culture.
“I know that giving a star quilt was a huge part of it for us coming from our community because the value of a star quilt in our community is really huge and so we knew that we wanted that to be a part of it,” Koupal said.