Show of Support at Virginia Tech for Save the Next Girl Campaign
As the Hokies rallied against the Cavaliers Saturday, they also rallied around the family of murdered Virginia Tech student Morgan Harrington and the Help Save the Next Girl campaign.
It has been three years since Morgan Harrington was murdered after leaving a concert at John Paul Jones Arena in Charlottesville, But Saturday in Blacksburg, her peers and her school showed that she is not forgotten.
Virginia Tech players wore bracelets supporting the Help Save the Next Girl campaign. The athletic department donated seats to the Harrington family. Morgan's father, Dan Harrington, wore a patch with a special meaning for his family. Hokie Head Coach Frank Beamer wore a patch with ‘2-4-1' dots, matching the one Dan Harrington wore in the stands.
"When our kids were growing up we'd put the 2-4-1 dots on their lunch pails, we had ‘em on our suitcases," Dan stated. "That's ‘love you too much forever and one more time' which was the family saying, the last thing that Morgan said to my wife before she left on the Saturday when she was murdered."
Ian Heflin of Virginia Tech Help Save the Next Girl said, "It's just a really strong message of love; so we try to support that message and carry that through the organization."
This show of support comes on the heels of the release of former chief investigator Joe Rader's letter to the person he thinks might have the clues to finding Morgan Harrington's killer. Dan Harrington says he and his wife were both surprised and pleased by Rader's letter after having a rocky relationship with the former state police lieutenant.
"I think he feels strongly that justice needs to occur with this and I think it's unprecedented that someone in his position would come out and do what he did," he said.
Dan says he and his family are fueled by support from Rader, the Help Save the Next Girl campaign, and the Hokie community.
"People get tired of hearing about it but we're not going away," Dan stated. "It is justice for Morgan but we are concerned about Help Save the Next Girl. We don't want it to happen to someone else, and it may very well happen to someone else."
We spoke to Morgan's mother, Gil Harrington, on the phone. She tells the show of support from the students is important to the Help Save The Next Girl campaign because they are the ones who can look out for their friends and come to the rescue when they're in need.