BROOK PARK -- It was a solemn start to a high school football game Friday night, as spectators pay tribute to an eight-year-old girl. Khloe Nida was struck and killed by a car in her own yard last weekend.
The stands inside George Finnie Stadium in Berea were filled with thoughts of 8-year-old Khloe. Before the Berea Midpark High School football game against North Ridgeville, the crowd released teal balloons into the air. Teal was Khloe's favorite color.
"We have no doubt that Khloe would have grown to become a great leader and athlete in our school district, her beautiful smile will truly be missed," the announcer told the crowd before balloons were launched.
"It was just a really big thing for our community, it was really sad obviously, one of the people that I dance with, she knew her," said senior Priya Garwidi.
Last Saturday night, Khloe was playing in her yard on Engle Road in Brook Park when she was hit by a car that barreled into the family's driveway from across the street. Students, with the help of a local T-shirt maker, Luna marketing, sold teal colored shirts, with 10-dollars from each shirt going to the girl's family.
"We sold them at lunches for $15 and some of the money went back to the family so we felt that was necessary to help with costs for, like, funeral and stuff," said senior Matthew Yakimow.
"Even the other school that we are playing tonight is also supporting her and I hope that her family feels really good about the money we are raising for them," said student Kennedy Trofford.
"I'm really proud of the way our students showed a level of maturity and sensitivity to feel for a member of our community," said high school principal Vincenzo Ruggiero.
Khloe's family says she loved softball and cheerleading and looking after her younger brother, sister and friends.
"I thought it was very important for my children to come together and support someone else's family in a time of need," said parent Alana Carter.
The owners of Luna say they have sold between 800 and 900 shirts so far.
Brook Park police say the accident remains under investigation. The investigation could take several weeks to complete.