#BurnsvilleStrong: Coming together after tragedies - KMSP-TV

#BurnsvilleStrong: Coming together after tragedies

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BURNSVILLE, Minn. (KMSP) -

For thousands of students in Minnesota, summer vacation will end on Monday -- but kids in one metro district will be returning to the classroom with heavy hearts and administrators hope a social media slogan will help.

The Burnsville, Eagan, Savage District -- No. 191 -- has seen a lot of loss in the last year, particularly this past summer. A total of nine current or recent students died, and some tragically so. That's why this fall, administrators are hoping to highlight the strength and resilience of the student body with the Twitter account and hashtag dedicated to all things #BurnsvilleStrong.

FOLLOW: Burnsville Strong on Twitter

It took a tragedy for Ty Alyea's family to learn what that phrase really means.

"It doesn't matter what race, color, ethnicity, what class you are -- they all just come together, loving each other big time," Greg Alyea reflected.

The 17-year-old baseball star was killed in a rollover crash earlier this month. A vigil held at the school the very next night drew hundreds, and let the Alyeas know they weren't grieving the loss alone.

"I've not only seen the campaign, but I felt it in reality," Lori Alyea said. "Unbelievable how they just came around us."

The Borchardt family also finds strength in the #BurnsvilleStrong effort. Cole Borchardt, Ty's best friend, was also ejected during the crash. The 2014 graduate and hockey standout barely survived, and remains in the intensive care unit at Regions Hospital in St. Paul.

"Everybody just seems to pull together," Heidi Borchardt said of the community's support. "It doesn't matter if hockey, baseball or soccer. Everybody comes together."

Now that students will be heading back to school, the district hopes to make #BurnsvilleStrong a statement of pride for the classmates that will help them turn tragedy into positive momentum. The district is also hoping that local businesses and community members will promote the effort with things like T-shirts and bumper stickers. The families of those affected by the rollover crash will receive all the proceeds of the annual Burnsville Fire Muster, which runs Sept. 3 through Sept. 7. The BHS Baseball Boosters will also be accepting donations for raffle items.

Donations can also be made to the family of Ty Alyea at any Anchor Bank, and checks can also be mailed to the following address:

550 W Burnsville Parkway #100
Burnsville, MN 55337

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