Tears and laughs were shared Wednesday afternoon as students, teachers, friends and family gathered at a Bulldogs football game at Royal Oak Middle School to participate in a balloon release to honor the lives of Jordan, 14, and Ashley, 11, Siegel.
The Siegel children were tragically killed in a crash along southbound U.S. 23 in Pittsfield Township on June 22.
Christie Siegel, the children's mother, cheered on the Bulldogs from the stands wearing Jordan's No. 10 practice jersey. Jordan was the Bulldogs' quarterback the last two years.
Last week, the ROMS student council sold memorial cards as a fundraiser for the Jordan and Ashley Siegel Scholarship Fund. The memorial cards were an opportunity to write a note to the Siegel family. For each memorial card sold, a balloon was released.
"I have been told the note cards are very personal and touching," Siegel said. "They were going to put them on display but didn't because they were so personal."
Siegel was overwhlemed by number of supporters that attended the game. She was joined by Marc Siegel, of Novi, on the football field where the parents were presented with Jordan's No. 10 game jersey. The players will wear red stickers on their helmets in his honor all season long.
The Royal Oak Chargers and Chiefs cheerleaders also participated in Wednesday's tribute. Many of the girls were visibly moved when students entered the stadium carrying a photograph of the siblings. Ashley was a Chargers cheerleader.
A.J. Carter, the president of the ROMS student council, gave brief remarks at game.
"I am sure we all know what happened on that tragic day. We lost our fellow Bulldogs Jordan and Ashley. They were so nice and kind to everyone they met. They touched so many people's lives so many different ways," Carter said. "They will never be forgotten. Once a Bulldog, always a bulldog."
A moment of silence was observed as 500 balloons were released.
The students raised more than $600 for the Jordan and Ashley Siegel Scholarship Fund, which was established by family and friends to give scholarships to children in the Royal Oak area who can’t afford to play sports.