Student-athletes exercise to raise money for rebuilding efforts on Lake Street

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Student-athletes from high schools throughout the metro reunited with their teams for a very special purpose on Wednesday.

Campaign: #MN846FORCHANGE

That's the name given to the student-driven campaign on social media. Once word spread of the fundraising campaign to help riot-decimated small businesses and community groups along Lake Street in Minneapolis, boys and girls soccer teams and other athletes gathered at a time and place convenient to them.

Members of Edina girl's soccer team met at Kuhlman Field where home games take place. Only, players reunited to map out a course, for a cause incredibly important to them. 

"We are here to not only raise awareness of racial injustice but help rebuild the community," said senior Haley Reeck. 

Standing nearby were members of Blake High School's girls' soccer team.

Full coverage from KSTP

Each athlete chose how to log 8.46 miles, whether by pounding the pavement on foot or burning up the road on a bike. The distance symbolized the amount of time a former Minneapolis police officer kneeled down on George Floyd's neck, leading to his death last month. The high schoolers moved through Edina streets and neighborhoods at their own pace, according to soccer coach Katie Aafedt. 

"It kinda shows this generation they are willing to do things for change and willing to do things to contribute to something other than themselves," Aafedt said.

With teenage enthusiasm and energy, the gals pedaled with purpose. Reeck recently toured the aftermath of urban violence along Lake Street. 

"I honestly thought it was terrible seeing all the riots and all the damage, doing anything to help is super important to us," Reeck said.

The goal was to raise $8,460. At last check on their GoFundMe page, more than $10,000 had been donated. All of the proceeds go directly to the Lake Street Council for recovery efforts.