How classmates plan to keep Buffalo Grove High School student's memory alive
Levi Matsuda was that outgoing high school kid with a big smile and a laugh that was contagious to everyone he was around -- whether at school, Friday night football games, the movie theater or beach, friends say.
And while they're sad knowing that the outgoing 17-year-old won't be there for the first day of school in a few weeks, they plan to keep his memory alive throughout what would have been his senior year.
Students and others who knew Levi continue to mourn his death in a Saturday skateboarding accident in Arlington Heights. Authorities say he fell off the skateboard while holding onto a moving vehicle on Ridge Avenue, fell to the ground and suffered severe head injuries.
Students at Buffalo Grove High School said Monday plans are in the works to create and sell bracelets at football games labeled "#4levi" in memory of their classmate.
They're also planning senior class T-shirts paying tribute to him, etched with "In Memory of Levi" on the back.
An online GoFundMe fundraiser established Sunday already has raised more than $7,000 to help defray the family's funeral expenses.
"It was very shocking when we all heard about it," said Victoria Kalyviaris, 17, a senior classmate who set up the GoFundMe page. "It was really hard to hear."
Kalyviaris said she knew Levi for five years, meeting him through mutual friends before they eventually went on to attend the same high school. She recalled many happy memories of hanging out in their group of friends.
"He lit up the room every time he walked in," Kalyviaris said. "He was definitely a smart, intelligent kid. He was also a social butterfly."
Buffalo Grove High School had counselors on hand Monday for students and staff, with plans to be back Tuesday morning.
Arlington Heights police did not offer additional details about the accident since releasing a statement about it early Sunday.
Funeral arrangements are pending.