BRUNSWICK -- Just graduated Brunswick High School seniors have found a way to support the families of their classmates.
They have designed and printed memorial T-Shirts, in honor of Jeff Chaya, Blake Bartchak, Lexi Poerner, and Kevin Fox, and in support of Julia Romito, who is recovering from her injuries.
The shirts display angel wings and a cross, and the words, Blue Devils on earth, Angels up above.
"We put the angel wings on there because they're our angels, our guardian angels," says Miranda Flowers, the just graduated Brunswick High School senior who came up with the idea with a couple classmates."We did the praying hands for Julia because always we're praying for her just as well as for the four families."
Initially there were to be about 500 shirts for seniors and family members, but soon orders grew to 1,500, then 2,500 in just one day.
"It's because they were the four greatest kids in the whole city," says Miranda, who proposed the design and the idea at 8:15 a.m. Monday. "There's no better kids in the whole city than those who just passed."
Jim Heiser, owner of Bullseye Activewear, theBrunswick company which is printing the shirts at cost, says he was immediately impressed with Miranda and did everything he could to make the idea a reality for the community.
"We temporarily put aside another job and started the printing Tuesday afternoon," Heiser told WKYC. "If we need to print more we area ready to do that for the community."
"I think it's just touched so many people," says 2012 graduate Nicole Hoy, who helped in the design and production. "Even if you didn't know them on a personal level it still affects you. And everyone just wants to come out and support all the kids that are hurting and the families."
The shirts will sell for $15 each, with $10 going directly to the families of the 5 students who were in Sunday's crash. The graduates will be selling them at the East entry ofBrunswick High Schoolon Wednesday, June 6, from 2 to 4 p.m., and on Thursday, June 7, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Melissa Truce, Miranda's cousin and classmate, says she thinks it is an appropriate memorial, one that can bring a smile in the midst of grief. She spoke especially of Jeff Chaya, who was her classmate and friend.
"The last thing he would want is for all of us to be too upset because he was such a happy kid all the time. He never failed to make me smile," she said. "Never."