There was much to celebrate Monday night at West York High School. The boys’ basketball team was playing in the brand new gymnasium, and senior Darian McCaulley was close to scoring his 1,000th point.
But just before the start of the game, the entire gym was silent. More than half of the crowd, including the West York players and cheerleaders, wore black shirts with a stick figure family on them that read: “The Folk Clan."
The crowd was paying their respects to one of their own.
Ty Folk, 44, died on Jan. 23, leaving his wife, Erin, daughter Alex and son, Tyler, who is a senior at the school.
“I was at my friend’s house and I got a call around 7 a.m. that my dad had passed away in his sleep,” said Tyler, who was also wearing the shirt.
According to Tyler, his father had a history of health problems that included a heart attack, but it looked like he was making a turnaround after gastric-bypass surgery, which saw the patriarch lose 100 pounds.
After his death the morning of last week's snowstorm, the West York community rallied around the Folk family. The shirts were created and sold for $10 each, with all of the money going to the family.
“I think it’s absolutely awesome. I can’t thank everyone enough for the love and support my family got. I mean, times are tough, but this is helping out,” said the West York senior, who was the starting quarterback for the football team this season.
As the national anthem was sung after the moment of silence, Tyler stood in the stands filled with students wearing the T-shirts. He admitted it was strange to be there so soon after his father’s death, but being among his friends helped with his struggle.
“It’s so sad that this is for me, but then again, I have people who’ve got my back, and that’s a good feeling.”
All proceeds from "The Folk Clan" T-shirts will be given to the Folk family. If you are interested in purchasing one, email firstname.lastname@example.org.