Volleyball team raises money for family of slain trooper

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MOUNT PULASKI, Ill. (WCIA) — A high school volleyball team helped raise thousands of dollars for the family of a slain Illinois State Trooper.

Nick Hopkins was shot and killed in the line of duty in August. Illinois State Police SWAT was executing a search warrant in East St. Louis when gunfire broke out.

The Mount Pulaski High School volleyball team and the community decided they wanted to do what they could for those he left behind.

“I just thought this was something special that we could do to help his family,” said Donna Dulle, head volleyball coach. “I think it’s kind of important for our players to see that we can pay back to people that help us.”

That’s where Volley for the Cause came in. The team does it every year, and proceeds normally go to those who have been affected by cancer. But not this time.

“I think we owe so much to our police officers, that people don’t realize what they do for us, and we need to recognize them for all they do,” said Dulle.

The fundraiser included a dinner, live auction, raffle, 50/50 drawing, and a volleyball match. One of the members of Hopkins’ SWAT team unit said the fundraiser to help the family would mean a lot to Hopkins.

“He’d be proud,” said Eric Cowman, Illinois State Trooper. “One of his sayings was ‘You can never do a kindness too soon, because you don’t know how soon it’ll be too late.’ That’s kind of what he stood by and what he represented as a man.”

$13,425 was raised for the family. A check will be delivered to them by police next week.

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