Berea — Hundreds of community members came together for a balloon release to honor an 8-year-old who died after she was struck by a car in the backyard of her family's home in Brook Park.
The sea of teal, 8-year-old Khloe Nida's favorite color, filled George Finnie Stadium as the Berea Midpark High School football team took the field Friday night.
Khloe was struck and killed after a 77-year-old driver exited the Mary Queen of the Apostles Parish parking lot, lost control, crossed Engle Road and traveled into the backyard of a home. The third grader at Brook Park Memorial Elementary later died at a hospital.
On Friday night, family, friends and strangers came together in teal-colored shirts to honor Khloe's life and release a sea of balloons in her honor.
"These kids are like my kids," said Christinia Poindexter, Khloe's recent cheerleading coach. "Every single one of them."
Although only coaching Khloe for a short time, Poindexter said the young girl quickly became part of the family.
High school students also dressed in teal and blue, hoping to send a message of the importance of a community together as one to support Khloe's family.
"Our whole district has tremendous support, up and down," said high school senior Jacob Andrews. "...from our high school to our elementary schools and families across the district."
Principal Vincenzo Ruggiero said he was proud to see his students come together.
"It’s a testament to the maturity and sensitivity of our students, that they would reach out, in the way they could, to help the families truly in need at this time," said Ruggiero.
Following a moment of silence and a balloon release, the district's cheerleaders walked onto the field hand-in-hand. They held a banner in Khloe's honor as the football team took to the field.
The tribute continues Saturday when Khloe's cheerleading teammates step onto Kennedy Field tomorrow in Brook Park at 4 p.m.