The family of Parkland shooting victim Alex Schachter, who dreamed of attending the University of Connecticut, attended the school’s football season opener at Rentschler Field Thursday for a tribute event.
Fourteen-year-old Alex dreamed of going to UConn before he was killed in the mass shooting at a Florida high school in February. The university made him an honorary Husky posthumously after learning of his love for the school.
At today's game, Alex's dad Max wore the UConn sweatshirt his son always wore.
"This is the sweatshirt that Alex wore every day to school, and I told him, 'Alex, you've got to change that sweatshirt.' I said, 'People are going to think we don't buy you any clothes.' And he said, 'Dad, I don't care. I love this shirt. It's so comfortable, and I love UConn," said Max.
His family said Alex’s first exposure to the school came when he was 5 years old and his aunt and uncle, Patti and Paul Goldberg, of Southington, brought him and his brother, Ryan, for a visit to campus to help them remember their mother, Debbie Goldberg Schachter, a member of the class of 1993 (CLAS), who died when Alex was 4.
Alex, who was a high school freshman at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, played the baritone horn and trombone in the high school band and was on a recreational basketball team.
At halftime, the UConn Marching Band performed Alex’s favorite song, Chicago’s “25 or 6 to 4” and spelled out Alex’s name on the field. The moment it happened, the crowd cheered.
"I know Alex is going to be on the field. He's in the hearts of all the kids that are here. He wanted to be here. He would have been here," said Max. "I'm going to thank the band, thank the band director. I want to thank all of UConn for doing this. This was amazing."
The event is meant to pay tribute to Alex and raise funds for the Alex Schachter and Family Memorial Scholarship Fund, a UConn scholarship his family has started in his honor.