Top of the Morning, Aug. 1, 2018

Top of the Morning, Aug. 1, 2018

Inclusion is every bit as important any instrument to MIKE ALLEN. That's why Centennial High's director of bands is looking forward to Thursday's excursion to the St. Louis area.

"The trip is about way more than band," he said.

Allen and about 120 students will bus to Granite City High in the morning, where the Chargers and host Warriors will perform separate shows.

"Then the magic happens," Allen said.

The Chargers and Warriors will mingle — "spending time to get to know each other," Allen said — before hearing from Champaign's HEATHER MILLER about "inclusion, friendship, kindness, respect and the other tenants that (her son) LUKE MILLER stood for."

Luke's death in 2017 sparked the "#LiveLikeLuke" movement that remains strong today. Luke attended Centennial and was a friend of the band.

Last year, Heather Miller shared her message during the Centennial's band trip to Highland High.

On Thursday, the Chargers will wear their red #LiveLikeLuke T-shirts. The day culminates with the group attending a Rockies-Cardinals afternoon game at Busch Stadium in St. Louis.

Together, of course.

"The game is where we make the lesson of inclusion stick," Allen said. "I've always encouraged a sense of family: We don't let anyone go to lunch alone, walk alone, sit at a game alone.

"It's an incredibly great day."

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