Metro Detroit athletic community launches 'Oxford Strong' fundraiser; Feb. 4 day of honor

Tony Paul
The Detroit News

The Michigan High School Athletic Association is joining forces with three Metro Detroit conferences to raise money for the victims of the shooting at Oxford High School on Nov. 30.

The MHSAA announced Monday that shirts and sweatshirts will be sold, with the "Oxford Strong" moniker across the front, with all profits going to the Oxford victims.

"Oxford Strong" t-shirts and sweatshirts will be sold to raise money for victims of the Nov. 30 shooting at Oxford High School.

“Every day since Nov. 30, schools have asked us what they can do, how can they help,” MHSAA executive director Mark Uyl said in a story posted on the association's website Monday. “While there is no way to take away the pain from such a tragedy, our statewide community will be glad to provide any comfort possible to Oxford schools and their community at this time of such great sorrow.”

Sterling Heights-based E.A. Graphics will print the shirts and sweatshirts, which will be sold to schools so they can distribute them throughout their respective communities. T-shirts will cost $20, with $16.20 designated for the victims with each sale. Cost of sweatshirts hasn't been released.

E.A. Graphics has been working with Oxford High's league, the Oakland Activities Association, and the Kensington Lakes Athletic Association and Detroit Catholic High School League on the fundraiser.

Organizers are asking communities to wear the "Oxford Strong" shirts throughout the month of February. Feb. 4, according to the MHSAA, has been designated as "Oxford Strong" day.

Four Oxford High students died in the Nov. 30 shooting — Madisyn Baldwin, 17; Hana St. Juliana, 14; Tate Myre, 16; and Justin Shilling, 17 — and six students and one teacher were injured. Myre, Shilling and St. Juliana were athletes, and Baldwin was an aspiring artist. Shilling's bowling team held the school's first match since the shooting last week, with hundreds of community members in attendance. The school shooting was the deadliest in the U.S. this year, and the deadliest in Michigan in decades.

There have been several tributes for the victims from Michigan's sports community, including patches worn by the Michigan football and women's basketball teams; a helmet decal worn by Eastern Michigan in its bowl game; and a game ball from Lions coach Dan Campbell's first victory being donated to the community. Michigan and Michigan State have welcomed Oxford athletes to campus to watch sporting events.

Last week, Myre, a star running back recruited by several Division I programs, was named an honorary member of Michigan State's 2022 recruiting class, and the Michigan High School Football Coaches Association named Myre honorary captain of its 2021 "Dream Team."

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Twitter: @tonypaul1984