High school football teams show support to slain mother, son with ‘Purple Night’

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WILDWOOD, Mo. - Students from high school football rivals Lafayette and Marquette both wore purple to their game Friday night in honor of a student and his mother, who were killed a year ago.

Lawrence Strawbridge was a student at Lafayette when he was killed but he went to middle school with a lot of Marquette students.

Lawrence and his mother, Tyra Shannon, were stabbed to death in their home in August 2016. Shannon’s other son, who suffers from mental illness, was charged with their murders.

Lawrence is remembered as a kind-hearted 16-year-old with a big smile who loved football and the color purple.

Lawrence participated in the VICC program where he was bussed in from the city to school. In his honor loved ones started the Lawrence Strawbridge Foundation. The foundation provides backpacks for VICC students, as well as scholarships and trunks filled with dorm necessities for VICC seniors headed to college.

“Our motto is bridging the gap because there are a lot of students that don’t have that they are coming out of here with meager means and we want them to be just as successful as those that are coming from well to do means,” said Patricia Dees, co-president of the foundation.

On Lawrence’s birthday, the foundation brought snacks for VICC students who have a long bus ride home.

During Lafayette homecoming on October 1, the school will host the first ever 5K to raise home for the Lawrence Strawbridge Foundation.