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Nazareth trades in blue in honor of missing teacher

By Catherine Hawley, Reporter, news@wfmz.com
Published On: Aug 30 2013 09:00:13 PM CDT
Updated On: Aug 30 2013 09:34:57 PM CDT

School's back in session, and that means it's time for Friday night lights.

NAZARETH, Pa. -

School's back in session, and that means it's time for Friday night lights. At Nazareth Area High School the joy of the start of football season is mingled with apprehension and concern. Concern for someone who's not just missing out on the fun, he's actually missing. Math Teacher Matthew Greene.

"I would've had him first block right in the morning," shared senior Richard Gazzola.

The 39-year-old Bethlehem man hasn't been heard from since July16. He vanished while out in California on a summer-long hiking trip. It's been 45 days with no answers to what happened.

Here in Northampton County, students weren't sporting the usual blue and white pride. The home season opener was all about the color green. Organizers hope their "green-out" will support the efforts for Mister Greene and lift the heavy hearts in the community.

"It's really inspiring to see how everyone can come together just for a common cause," said Gazzola.

"It makes me feel really good that I have the opportunity to be part of something so great," added senior Hannah Casciole.

The Nazareth School Board gave the idea the nod Tuesday. Since then the effort's swelled. It didn't matter where you looked, the color green was everywhere at the football game.

"By being such a good person and having such a good impact on the school, he really brought everyone together, all the grades, all the teachers," explained Gazzola. "I hope his family just realizes how much he's touched everyone here."

Searches are still underway for Matthew on the West Coast, and there are ways you can help.

"Hopefully people will give donations," Casciole said. "I know that there's independent search parties that need funding."

For more information about fundraising, click here.