Lakota West High School to host memorial service for fallen student

The tragically short life of a Lakota student will be memorialized during services in a Lakota school and stadium.

A “celebration of life” ceremony for Matt Stratman is open to the public at 7 p.m. Thursday at Lakota West High School in Butler County’s West Chester Twp.

The 15-year-old Stratman died Saturday after collapsing last month during a school lacrosse game. The student, who was going into his sophomore year at Lakota West, never regained consciousness.

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His family, according to a statement released by the Hodapp Funeral Home, will hold private funeral services for the teen on Friday.

Stratman's untimely illness and death have galvanized many in the Lakota school community, which encompasses both West Chester and Liberty townships.

After his collapse, Stratman was diagnosed with an AVM (arteriovenous malformation), which involves bleeding in the brain, according to a GoFundMe page created to help the family defray medical costs.

Through a series of events, car washes and other fundraisers, thousands have contributed money, time and prayers for the youth and his family. An online fund — “Stratman Strong” — was created to help the teen’s family with medical expenses.

Most recently on Sunday, the Center Pointe Christian Church in Liberty Township opened its doors to conduct small-group, grief counseling services.

Explore MORE: Church holds counseling services for recently died Lakota youth

Thursday’s ceremony will be held in the Lakota West gym — at 8940 Union Centre Blvd. — with doors opening at 6 p.m.

According to the family’s statement, “following the service, please join Matt’s family as we walk him through the (Lakota) West Stadium.”

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be directed to the AVM Research Foundation, 179 Windfair Loop, Montgomery, Texas 77316 or to the Ronald McDonald House of Greater Cincinnati, 350 Erkenbrecher Ave., Cincinnati, OH 45229, or to a Local Youth Sports Organization of donor’s choice.

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