KNOXVILLE (WATE) – Hundreds of friends and family of a slain Fulton High School football player went roller skating to remember him. It was called “Skate For Zae Day” in honor of Zaevion Dobson who sacrificed his own life to save his friends.
Zaevion’s mother, Zenobia, organized the event to bring everyone together again. It’s another way the community is celebrating his life right before school gets back in session.
“Just to have fun and reminisce how everything is for Zaevion because it’s all about his friends and family,” Zenobia Dobson, Zaevion’s mother said.
Many of Zaevion’s classmates from Fulton High were wearing his football number, 24, to Skatetown. Time has helped them heal.
“It’s something fun to celebrate him because everybody has been grieving about his death and this is something that we should just go out and have fun and get that off our mind,” Ineesha Angel, a friend said.
Months have passed since Zaevion used himself as a shield to protect his friends from random gunfire. Knoxville Police Chief David Rausch said events like this are critical.
“He was a really special young man. For somebody to give his life like he did, I think events like this are huge to remember that and for each of these young people to understand that you can mean something in this world,” Knoxville Police Chief David Rausch said.
Zaevion’s mother said she and her sons used to go skating all the time. She believes events like the skate night will continue helping her cope with her son’s death.
“I know he’s smiling down. I feel him,” Dobson said.
A city spokesman said nearly $1,400 was contributed by the city for the rental of Skatetown, the DJ, and flyers. Knoxville police also provided security to make sure that it was a safe event for everyone.