Buffalo, Cincinnati schools connect over Hamlin injury

(WIVB) — Hundreds of miles away from Buffalo, students at St. Ignatius of Loyola School in Cincinnati were watching the Monday Night Football game when Damar Hamlin went into cardiac arrest.

“It had to have been so hard for them to see this happen, these kids that play sports. Here in Cincinnati, you’ve got Damar Hamlin and Josh Allen and we talked to them like, ‘what if that was Joe Burrow? What if that was Tee Higgins? What if that was Ja’Marr Chase?'” said Matt Meyer, a science teacher at St. Ignatius.

After some brainstorming, the students came up with an idea. Meyer threw out his original lesson plan and instead the kids spent that Tuesday drawing pictures and writing well wishes to send to students at Saint Mark School in North Buffalo.

“One woman who works in the office, her name is Megan, came in with a very puzzled look on her face with this big, yellow envelope. She’s like ‘this is for you.’ We see the address on the envelope and the return address from Cincinnati,” said Saint Mark School principal Chris Gardon. “I think this was a really great example of what our private schools are all about. Matt and I, and everyone here at Saint Mark, we’re trying to be good people.”

The educators say despite being rivals on the football field, at the end of the day, it’s bigger than a game.

“That’s what we’re all about, the City of Good Neighbors. It’s just helping other people, so to kind of get that love back that I feel like we’ve been outpouring for so long was just really remarkable,” said Saint Mark School Public Relations Coordinator, Francesca Harvey.

Saint Mark School will be sending St. Ignatius a care package with Buffalo favorites, like a box of Josh’s Jaqs cereal and Watson’s sponge candy.

Some students will also be pen pals to keep this connection strong moving forward.

Marlee Tuskes is a reporter who has been part of the News 4 team since 2019. See more of her work here and follow her on Twitter.

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