(Photos and information provided by Alecia Kaus of Video News Service.)
Dozens and dozens of people gathered at Alexander High School's football field today to unite in their sorrow and yet have "nice, clean fun" with a couple of pickup football games in honor of Brian D. West Jr., who died earlier this month in an accident.
The East Bethany resident was 17, a proud Trojan (#54) who loved playing football for Alexander HS.
His big sister, Miranda, said the outpouring of community support for her little brother has been amazing. On this bright, hot Sunday afternoon cars were still piling in at 2:30 for the event, from Alexander, Bethany, East Bethany, Attica, Batavia, Medina and other locales.
"This is for people who might have trouble going to the services or calling hours," Miranda said, adding that it was also a fundraiser, with all donations going to establish a scholarship with the Alexander football club.
A deserving student will get a scholarship at the end of the 2017-18 academic year, and hopefully there will be enough funds to provide a scholarship annually over a 10-year period and perhaps beyond, Miranda said.
"We really just don't want him forgotten," Miranda said.
Brian died at 5:20 a.m. July 10 as a result of injuries in a rollover accident reported at 10:39 p.m. near his home. He lost control of the Chevy Avalanche he was driving and crashed on West Bethany Road. He was airlifted to Strong Memorial Hospital in Rochester.
Of course, the sudden tragedy hit the family and those who knew him hard.
They expressed their grief with phone calls, text messages, T-shirts, bumper sticks, social media messages, a sky lantern ceremony, donations, and words of encouragement.
"It's never going to be easy, but this is something that's going to make it easier for us," Miranda said of all the support.
The entire West family is grateful for it.
"We really, really, really, want to say 'thank you so much from the bottom of our hearts,' " Miranda said.