Gavin Sharpe died Monday morning following an accident on his high school campus in Mooresville, North Carolina, over the weekend. Now his community is hoping to raise almost as much money for the Sharpe family as there are residents in town.
A family friend has set up a GoFundMe page in memory of the 15-year-old football player with a $30,000 fundraising goal in a town of just over 38,000 residents. By Thursday afternoon, they’d raised more than $6,500 for the Sharpe family.
“Gavin’s legacy of love will continue on forever in all of us who knew him, and everyone who has heard about him,” the GoFundMe page stages. “Let us come together as a community to support Gavin’s family during this difficult time. Please share this campaign as generously as Gavin shared himself.”
Mooresville Graded School District confirmed in a statement Monday that Sharpe died after an accident during a service project on the high school campus over the weekend left him “seriously injured.”
In a tweet Saturday around the time of the incident, Iredell Firewire said the teenager had fallen out of a pickup truck.
A traffic investigation into the accident was still ongoing as of Wednesday, Deputy Chief Gerald Childress of the Mooresville Police Department said. Childress told McClatchy newsgroup in an email that the initial report had to be amended after Sharpe’s death, adding that “unavailable” additional information was still needed.
In the meantime, it was the start of a somber year for students in the Mooresville Graded School District, whose first day of school was Tuesday.
Countless community members have shared photos of Sharpe in his football uniform sporting the number 63 on social media. #GavinStrong has also popped up on gas station billboards in town and on a “spirit rock” outside the high school.
Mooresville resident Eric Davis set up the GoFundMe page for the Sharpe family on Wednesday. Davis is not related but described the family as “dear friends and neighbors.” His wife also shared it on Facebook, urging community members to “blow the roof off this aggressive goal.”
Proceeds will initially be used for “short-to-intermediate-term meals, supplies and gift cards to support the family,” Davis said on the page.
According to a brief obituary published in the Statesville Record & Landmark, Sharpe’s funeral will be held Saturday, Aug. 10, at The Cove in Mooresville.