Local high schools pay tribute to Ukele family

MARYSVILLE, Kan. (KSNT) — The Ukele family is being remembered tonight just days after a tragic crash took the lives of three members of the family.

Carmen, Marlee and Stephen Ukele died in a head-on crash on their way home from a high school football game against Marysville Saturday night.

On Friday, Sabetha and Marysville faced off again in a truly emotional fashion.

The usually very loud gym was completely silent for a moment as both communities came together to remember and honor the Ukele family.

Last week, Sabetha beat Marysville in the 3A State Football Championship. At Friday’s basketball game, Marysville students also wore Sabetha’s blue to show their support.

Many wore custom t-shirts made for Friday’s game.

The woman who is behind them said she’s amazed by the support.

“We were expecting probably in the 100 range, and now we’re over the 700 range,” said Identiteez store owner, Megan Urban. “So a lot more than we ever expected.”

This community’s support for the Ukele family is not unique.

Holton also sported blue for Sabetha in its basketball season opener against Lecompton.

Student Council president Blake Harris came up with the idea.

“There was a lot of talk about it in social media and I think hopefully we’ll see a lot of blue tonight,” Harris said.

“It makes us feel really good that as our future kids here at Holton are wanting to do the right thing,” said Holton athletic director Brent Bechard said. “Even though it doesn’t directly involve our community, they still want them to know that we’re supporting them.”

Osage City High School, along with nearby businesses, are collecting donations for the Ukeles this week.

You can find a list of places participating here.

The Osage City cheerleaders are also putting together a card, complete with a crowd picture from tonight’s basketball game, to give to the family with those donations.

The Perry-Lecompton School District is also collecting donations. They plan to present a check at the high school basketball game on Tuesday.

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