by: SAM HICKS - Steve Forsyth's friend, Brett Johnson, and students shout out an 'Oh, yeah!' in honor of Forsyth and his family during a Jan. 18 basketball game.If you were near West Linn High School last Friday night, you would not have just heard cheers for the girls and boys basketball teams. You would have also heard a couple of resounding “Oh, yeahs!” in honor of Steve Forsyth. Steve — a bigger than life, fun loving, completely devoted husband and father, and a treasured friend and member of the community — tragically lost his life in the Clackamas Town Center shootings.

The West Linn versus Lake Oswego games seemed a perfect place to honor Steve since he was not only a resident of West Linn, but played basketball for and grew up in Lake Oswego. Steve clearly loved his family first, but he also loved coaching and sports. He never missed his son’s games and it was there that you could hear him yell, “Oh, yeah!” with his big, booming voice whenever anything good happened on the field or court.

Before the boys’ tipoff, Steve’s friend, Dr. Brett Johnson, spoke about Steve. He then introduced special guests Mike Barrett and Nolan Smith from the Portland Trail Blazers. Johnson, Barrett and Smith led the “Oh, yeah!” cheer before Smith raffled off an autographed Trail Blazer basketball, and Barrett introduced the starting SAM HICKS - Trail Blazers Nolan Smith, left, and Mike Barrett spoke to the crowd at the West Linn High School basketball game.

Funds were raised for the Forsyth Family Fund through T-shirt sales and also through a silent auction and raffle. When word went out to the community about the event, donations poured in for the auction and raffle. The night would not have been possible without the help of so many. So thank you to Hometown Sports, Lids Team Sports and Nike Team for making the T-shirts possible. Thank you to Nike, Columbia, B.J. Willy’s and Mean Street Pizza for their generous donations to the raffle/auction. And thanks to Sam Hicks for the photographs, all the volunteers and Bill Olsen who spearheaded the donations. A special thanks to Mike Barrett, Nolan Smith and the Trail Blazers. Barrett and Smith had games the night before and the night after – but they still made time for this game.

Clearly, raising approximately $8,000 was wonderful – and a huge thanks goes out to everyone who bought shirts, auction items and raffle tickets. But, more than that, it was a spectacular outpouring of love and support that showed what this community is truly made of.

Jill Schmid and Tracey Sitton are West Linn residents.

Contract Publishing

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