The death of George Floyd. Resulting riots and property destruction. A college fundraiser.
 
This trifecta of elements inspired the Blake girls’ soccer team to take action. The team organized a GoFundMe campaign to honor Floyd and raise funds for the Lake Street Council in Minneapolis.
 
On June 17, Bears’ players will participate in an 8.46-mile activity, whether a run, bike ride, walk, or swim. The distance symbolizes the 8 minutes and 46 seconds that a former Minneapolis police officer knelt on the back of Floyd’s neck.
 
The team’s goal is to raise $8,460 and the Blake players aren’t alone. Using friendship through soccer, the Bears have added Breck, Coon Rapids, Eagan, Edina, Minnetonka, Orono and Wayzata. Proceeds raised by all eight schools will funnel into the same “MN High School Athletes 8.46 Miles For Change” account.
 
“These girls wanted to support a cause and through that, connect with their friends on other teams who they haven’t been able to see,” Blake girls’ soccer coach Kelsey Hans said.
 
More than $3,200 was raised as of Sunday evening.
 
The idea originated with the UCLA women’s soccer team, who took part in a 8.46-mile Collegiate Athletes Run on June 8 to raise funds for Black Lives Matter.
 
“Our girls said there wasn’t anything specific for high school athletes so they were excited to start something and run with it,” Hans said.
 
Estimated costs of the damage throughout the Twin Cities could exceed $500 million. The most severe damage was inflicted along a 5-mile stretch of Lake Street in south Minneapolis.
 
On the GoFundMe page, the organizers wrote, “We want to continue to raise awareness about racial injustice and contribute to the recovery of areas that were damaged. Our goal is to engage other high school athletic teams in Minnesota regarding the importance of these topics that are occurring in their own community and encourage teams to actively give back.”

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