The University of Oregon football team hosted a bowling benefit in memory of fallen Eugene police officer Chris Kilcullen.

This is the second year in a row that the team has put on this event. All those involved said it was not only an opportunity to honor Kilcullen, but also show their commitment to the community.

Almost a year has passed since officer Kilcullen died, but his memory continues to live on. An active member of the community, those around him continue to honor him and those like him by doing the same.

Head football coach Chip Kelly said, “It’s our way of saying thank you. Thank you for letting us into your town and being a part of the fabric of your community and let’s make sure that we honor someone that protects and serves us every single day. It’s a recognition of Chris. It’s a recognition of all the other law enforcement in the area that make this place such a special place.”

Some folks may have never met Chris in person, but they understood the importance of his role in the community and what it meant to those who had lost him.

Football player Dior Mathis said, “That situation was tragic and I give my heart and I know myself and my team and my coaches we give our heart to that person and his family. So doing this is just for that.”

All the money raised in the tournament will go to the officer’s scholarship fund and will be awarded to a student at the University of Oregon or Northwest Christian University who shows a passion for serving their community.

Outside of being an opportunity to give back to the community that shows so much support for them, the whole experience is meant to be a life lesson.

Secondary football coach John Neal said, “I think it’s a big picture of education. I mean they’re fortunate to come to university and learn all the things they learn, but there things outside of the university and in terms of educating them off the field, this is a great example to not take what we have for granted.”

The scholarship recipient will be chosen in the next few days before being officially announced at the first spring game.

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