GEORGE, Wash. -- The University of Washington held a thank you barbeque on Sunday for the George community and first responders who helped them following a crash on Thanksgiving in 2018.
"We're not here at all to really dwell on the unfortunate circumstances that brought about today's event," said Brad McDavid, director of the UW marching band. "This is all about looking people in the eye, hugging them, thanking them, all of the first responders, everybody...that came to our assistance that night."
The UW band cancelled its trip to the 2018 Apple Cup in Pullman after one of its charter buses crashed on Interstate 90 near George, Wash. Of the 52 people on board the bus at the time of the crash, 39 were taken to local hospitals. No one was seriously injured.
After the crash, George families answered a call from a radio station and brought Thanksgiving dinner for band members and UW staff.
The community barbecue was held at Quincy High School.
UW President Ana Mari Cauce and members of the Husky Marching Band presented checks totaling $5,000 to Grant County first responders and the George Elementary School music program.
UW students and faculty said the day was to honor and celebrate the heartfelt actions that helped all of the band safely make it through the night of the crash.
"Being able to come back here so many months later, I'm just glad that I'm here today and able to show my appreciation," said Nicole Pasia, a member of the marching band.
"Sometimes we make a big deal of the differences between Eastern and Western Washington, the big differences between the Huskies and the Cougars. But at the end of the day, we're Washingtonians. We care for each other, and we're here to say thanks," Cauce said.