Students at Quinnipiac University are getting athletes from around the world to help the Newtown community by donating a jersey to auction off in honor of one of the victims of the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School on Dec. 14.
Dave Clarke, the coach, has gathered shirts from the U.S. National Team and Celtic from the Scottish Premier League, among others from all across the world. They will be used in an auction in honor of Rachel D’Avino, a teacher who died in the shooting and the cousin of one of Clarke's former team captains.
All the shirts sent to Quinnipiac say Sandy Hook and have the number 26, in memory of the 20 students and six educators who were killed in the shooting.
“I don’t think when you see the shirt — with Sandy Hook 26 on the back — you don’t need to explain it,” Clarke said. “The tragedy at Sandy Hook hit a raw nerve with everybody around the world and soccer is truly a global game.”
Clarke is expecting to get more than 100 jerseys and the bidding will start at $26.
“When you look at the continents involved, the countries involved, some of the politics involved, that’s greater than the cause itself,” Clarke said.
Jessica Keller, who attends Newtown High School and also went to Sandy Hook, feels the jerseys were a perfect fit.
“You wear it and it’s kind of like it will never leave you and, kind of like the situation, it will never leave but it can always get better,” said Keller, who plays for Clarke's club team.
“Just to see Sandy Hook on the back of a shirt, it’s just so emotional and shows how everyone in the world is behind that school and what happened,” said Tori Graessle, who plays on the Quinnipiac women’s soccer team.
The auction will go live in March and run for a month.
Clarke hopes to continue this tradition by auctioning 26 jerseys every Dec. 14.
For more information, visit Bidding for Good.