Students pay artistic tribute to 1 October survivors


LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — A group of children have created a lasting tribute at their school to honor the victims of the Oct. 1 shooting.

Their story was featured last week in 8 News Now’s ‘What’s Cool at School’ segment. The students at Cadwallader Middle School created 58 sets of life-sized angel wings to pay tribute to those who lost their lives on Oct. 1, 2017.

The students wanted to find a way to honor survivors, including their science teacher, who was at the Route 91 festival two years ago. A number of October 1st survivors saw 8 News Now’ story over the weekend, and they were touched.

Travis Phippen, the son of John Phippen, who died saving someone’s life said the kids tribute was “awesome.”

On Tuesday night, a number of the survivors visited the school to see the angel wings in person.

“I’m very glad, and I’m very grateful that I am able to take part in this and hopefully make the other families feel comfortable and welcomed,” said Alec Dimitrov, a student.

The money raised from the art project will be donated to the Children of the 58 Foundation, the organization started by Mynda Smith’s family in honor of her sister Neysa Tonks.

“It was so touching and so special that I was just overwhelmed with emotion. It was beautiful,” Smith said.

The foundation is raising money to provide scholarships for the children of the shooting victims.

“I think it’s important that these kids know that it’s not just a face that they have done this for; it’s not just a story, it’s a human being, it’s a life, it’s a family,” Smith said.

Neysa Tonks’ family told 8 News Now the project was not just about teaching art, it was about teaching compassion, and sometimes, that is the best lesson that we can teach our children.

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