NEW CARLISLE, Ohio (WDTN) – The Tecumseh Local Schools community came together Friday night to honor fallen Clark County Sheriff’s Deputy Matthew Yates.
Tecumseh Strong presented the proceeds from a t-shirt fundraiser to Yates’ family during halftime of the Tecumseh Arrow’s football game.
“There’s so many people that have the, you know, the shirts on tonight and the support and not only for local law enforcement everywhere, but especially for Deputy Yates,” Tecumseh Local Schools School Resource Officer, and close friend of Yates, John Loney said.
Yates was killed in the line of duty on July 24 when responding to a call for shots fired near Springfield.
In the days that followed, Tecumseh head football coach Chris Cory, who is one of the founders of Tecumseh Strong, created t-shirts to help Yates’ family.
“We want to honor him,” Cory said. “We had the blue line through our T and on the back we have thin blue line through family, and I said, let’s sell t-shirts and see what we can do to help Mrs. Yates.”
In just a few weeks, Tecumseh Strong sold 700 shirts and more than $4,500 was raised.
The proceeds were presented to Yates’ wife, Tracy Yates, during the game’s halftime.
A sea of Tecumseh Strong shirts filled the stands at the game in support of Yates and the Clark County Sheriff’s Office.
“It’s a worthy cause,” Tecumseh grandparent Gary Elinger said. “I mean, I think our our law enforcement, especially today, isn’t getting credit. And I think any chance you get to, you know, honor them or show them the respect that they’re due. I think I needed to need to do that.”
Along with a tribute to Yates, Officer Loney and D.A.R.E. Officer Josh Berner were made honorary captains for the game, and stood on the field alongside the players.
“We’re so thankful,” Berner said. “We’re grateful for everything they’ve done. They’ve raised money. Matt’s actually been here several times. He’s had the opportunity to talk to our football players before, and they definitely felt the loss as much as is everyone else.”
Cory said there’s another check coming to Deputy Yates’ family after t-shirt sales wrap up Friday night. He expects the second check to be worth at least $1,000.