MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A Twin Cities high school showed its true colors tonight as it honored the family of a police officer recently killed in the line of duty.
St. Louis Park High School set up a fundraiser during its football game for the Officer Bill Mathews memorial fund. Mathews died earlier this month when a driver hit him as he was clearing debris along Highway 12, and the St. Louis Park community felt compelled to pay tribute.
Blue is not one of the colors St. Louis Park High School wears on its jerseys, but Thursday night it displayed proudly across the stadium and from the heart.
“I don’t know Shawn that well personally, but she does a lot for this community,” Amy Dvorak said.
Dvorak has two sons on the football at team at the school where Shawn Mathews is the assistant athletic director. Mathews is not only a woman that Dvorak appreciates, but now sympathizes with after Mathews’ husband Bill was killed in the line of duty as a Wayzata police officer.
“I hope Shawn and her family knows that they aren’t yesterday’s news, and that our city still is here for her, we support her, her family,” Jodi Johnston said.
Johnston and Dvorak helped organized an event at the high school Thursday to honor the Mathews family. Balloons were tied around the football field — half were orange for St. Louis Park, half were blue out of respect for law enforcement. The group also collected donations for the Officer Bill Mathews Memorial Fund as people entered the football stadium and the gym where a volleyball match was being played.
Organizers said Mathews was a fixture at sporting events.
“I really believe that you get what you give, and Shawn gives a lot to this community, and I wanted to give something back to her,” Dvorak said.
Before the national anthem was played, the PA announcer took time honor Officer Mathews. He then instructed them to send their thoughts to the Mathews family. Students released balloons at the end of the anthem.
“It’s a sad loss,” Johnston said. “Hopefully this will be a ray of light in a very dark three weeks (Mathews) just endured.”
Donations to the memorial fund can be made at the Wells Fargo Bank in Wayzata.