SAUGET, IL - It was a show of solidarity in Sauget on Sunday. Two area colleges teaming up to raise money for the family of fallen Illinois State Trooper Nick Hopkins.
Southwestern Illinois College and Lewis and Clark Community College agreed to a slow-pitch softball game at GCS Ballpark. Proceeds from ticket sales went to the Illinois State Police Heritage Foundation and will be given to Hopkins’ family. Hopkins is survived by his wife and 3 children. The fallen trooper was killed while serving a search warrant in East St. Louis last month. His alleged killer was indicted last week.
When the 2 teams lined up along the foul lines for the start of the game, a video tribute to Hopkins was played on the outfield monitor.
“They throw their lives out there every day,” said ticket buyer Orville Presler. “They stop a car, they don’t know what’s going to happen to them. They’ve got a dangerous job and we appreciate them very much.”
Representatives from both colleges said everyone in their athletic departments was eager to join forces.
“We were all excited about being able to do something to help the cause in memory of Officer Hopkins and we were just all excited to come play,” said Lewis and Clark softball player Hannah Rexford.
Lewis and Clark baseball player Cayen Collins said of his teammates, “They were pretty excited to join in and help the cause.”
SWIC Athletic Director Michael Junger said all of the college’s athletes wanted to attend the game. He said, “They wanted to be here. They wanted to help raise money for the little ones and be part of the community.”
Hopkins grew up in Waterloo. The mayor of Waterloo said the outpouring of support for Hopkins’ family has been overwhelming.
“It tells us there’s a lot of support for law enforcement out here,” said Mayor Tom Smith. The Waterloo community recently turned on blue lights at night to honor Hopkins and all fallen law enforcement officers. Smith hopes the blue lights will become a nationwide tradition.
Anyone wishing to help Hopkins’ family can do so by visiting the ISP Heritage Foundation website at www.isphf.org/donations. Note in the comments section “Trooper Nick Hopkins Memorial Fund”.
Donations can also be mailed to the Illinois State Police Heritage Foundation, P.O. Box 8168, Springfield, Illinois 62791.
Donations to BackStoppers can be made online at https://backstoppers.org/donate or by check mailed to The BackStoppers, PO BOX 795168, St. Louis, Mo 63179-0700.