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Fruitport, Muskegon schools light up stadiums to celebrate class of 2020

High schools are finding unique ways to honor their graduating classes.
Credit: Fruitport Community Schools/John and Tricia Winskas

High school seniors are having their final year cut short because Michigan schools are closed due to the coronavirus. This also means they won't be getting a traditional graduation experience. 

Across the country, schools are finding other ways to honor and celebrate their seniors. One campaign, called Be the Light, encourages districts to light up their stadiums for 20 minutes and 20 seconds at 8:20 p.m. (20:20 in military time). 

Friday night, Fruitport Community Schools joined in the celebration: the Doc Pierce Fruitport Stadium was illuminated, 20:20 was put on the score board and 2020 was painted on the grass. 

"While we recognize there was much that went unfinished for these seniors including the spring musical, the spring sports season, the Excellence in Education banquet, and so many more events and opportunities, we want them to know in a show of pride and unity that the Fruitport community is behind them and supports them," the district said in a post on Facebook

Michigan schools will be closed on March 17, and they will remain closed for the rest of the year. All spring sports and other end of year activities were also canceled. 

"In the face of extreme adversity, these seniors will forever shine as brightly as our stadium lights in the heart of the Fruitport community," the district said. 

Muskegon Public Schools has also participated in Be the Light for the past two weeks. They flooded Hackley Stadium with light for 20 minutes and 20 seconds Friday night. 

"We keep trying to find ways to honor our students and our class and the sacrifices they have made," said Muskegon Superintendent Matthew Cortez in a Facebook video

Muskegon also displayed the names of the entire class of 2020 on their scoreboard. 

"You are a great group of young men and young women," said Cortez. "And you are tolerating so much more than anyone could ask. Thank you for just being the Big Reds that you are." 

Posted by Muskegon Public Schools on Friday, April 17, 2020

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