Montreal Blakely's football team is working together to help his family with funeral costs, and also make the holidays brighter for other families in need of support.
The Concord High Minutemen will be selling Christmas ornaments printed with the number nine — Blakely's jersey number — at Friday's vigil for the 17-year-old who was shot in San Francisco on Dec. 15.
Money raised will go to Blakely's family, according to the Minutemen Football website, who are asking for donations to help with funeral expenses in lieu of flowers or condolence gifts.
"We are so proud of the family we have built here over our 9 years, and so grateful for your support now in this time of great sorrow," said Head Coach Brian Hamilton in a statement on Facebook. "While there is never a good time to lose a son, a brother, a teammate, or a friend, losing a loved one so close to Christmas is especially difficult for all."
The team has also decided to purchase nine Christmas trees in Blakely's honor to donate to families who have not been able to afford a tree this year.
The vigil for Blakely will be held at the Concord High School school gym on Friday, Dec. 21 at 7 p.m. Students and parents are invited to attend.
There will be a donation box at the vigil, an donations to the Blakely family can also be made online or by check, which should be mailed to the following address:
CHS Football/Montreal Blakely
c/o Meghan Mahler
4271 Treat Blvd. Concord, CA 94521
Blakely is remembered as happy and hardworking, with a 3.8 GPA at Concord High and a dream of attending a UC college.