RENO, Nev. – Paying tribute to those affected in Monday’s tragedy at Sparks Middle School, the Nevada and UNLV football teams will wear “SMS” decals on their helmets at this week’s Battle for the Fremont Cannon at Mackay Stadium on Saturday.
Donations will be collected at all Mackay Stadium gates on Saturday for the Sparks Middle School Compassion Fund. Teachers and staff from Depoali Middle School in Reno are volunteering at the game to collect the donations for the fund.
The teams will also observe a moment of silence prior to the game to honor all of the victims, including teacher Michael Landsberry, a 2001 graduate of the University who was killed in the tragedy. One of the injured students, 12-year-old Mason Kamerer, is expected join Gov. Brian Sandoval on the sidelines for the Homecoming game.
“As parents and members of the Northern Nevada community, Laura and I are heartbroken following the tragedy that took place earlier this week at Sparks Middle School,” Nevada coach Brian Polian said. “The thoughts and prayers of our entire organization continue to be with all of those that were affected. As a small show of support, our team will be proud to display the SMS decal on our helmets this weekend as we play our rival, UNLV. I hope that this gesture might in some small way show the Sparks community that we are with them in their time of need.”
The SMS Compassion Fund will provide support for and to the victims, students, staff, families and Sparks Middle School in wake of the tragedy. Disbursements will be advised by representatives of the Washoe County School District and the City of Sparks under the oversight of the Community Foundation of Western Nevada, to assure the funds are distributed to meet the needs of the school community as they are identified. For more information on the SMS Compassion Fund or to donate online, please visit www.NevadaFund.org.