WACO, Texas -
As the City of West continues to recover from the devastating April 17 explosion and fires, Baylor Athletics is inviting all residents and first responders from the nearby community to the No. 19/20 Bears' Big 12 opener against West Virginia on Saturday, Oct. 5, at Floyd Casey Stadium. Kickoff for the Oct. 5 game is expected to be announced Sept. 29 by the Big 12 Conference
In addition to working with West community leaders to provide complimentary tickets to all citizens who wish to attend the BU-WVU football game, an on-field ceremony with participation expected from City of West officials and first responders, along with staff from West ISD, Baylor University and the Texas Baptist Men, will be held at halftime. There will also be a moment of silence for the 15 individuals who lost their lives during the tragedy in West, coach Art Briles' Bears will wear a special helmet sticker during the Oct. 5 game in recognition of the community, and those who run the Baylor Line pre-game with Baylor President Judge Ken Starr will be associated with West, too.
West citizens and first responders interested in attending the Baylor football game, may claim their tickets between 6-8 p.m. on Sept. 25-26, at the West Community Center. A year ago, West Virginia made its Big 12 debut with a thrilling 70-63 victory over the Bears in Morgantown.
Less than 24 hours after the tragedy, which also injured more than 200 people and severely damaged buildings and homes within the community, Baylor established its West Relief Fund and nearly 1,800 individuals from around the country responded to the community's great need by donating more than $290,000 to the fund. Those funds were then allocated to First Baptist Church of West to aid in the debris removal project for the residents of West.
Baylor University's Ferrell Center was also the site of an April 25 memorial service attended by President Barack Obama, Baylor University President Ken Starr, Texas Gov. Rick Perry and other dignitaries to comfort thousands of mourners and honor 12 first responders killed trying to save others in the explosion. Hundreds of relatives and friends from West and nearby communities, thousands of firefighters from across Texas and the nation, and members of the general public came together in remembrance at the event that was held by the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation and Texas Line of Duty Death Task Force.