MONTPELIER, Vt. (WCAX) Montpelier said 'merci beaucoup' Thursday to its namesake city in southern France for some misspelled soccer jerseys. Montpellier, France, ordered the jerseys for its professional soccer team and fans earlier this year, but they came back short one 'L.' As a gesture of goodwill, officials there decided to send them to Montpelier, Vermont.
One little patch with one little mistake made for an international connection on Thursday.
"I think this is a pretty cool experience that Montpellier is letting us do," said Zane Odum.
Odum was among students from each school in Montpelier representing the Montpellier jerseys with pride during a special ceremony in the high School gym. "I for one like wearing this, it's pretty comfortable," Odum said.
A ceremony in which Montpelier Mayor John Hollar got to personally thank his Montpellier counterpart over the phone. "Mayor Sorrell, if you could just send me some new jerseys every couple of weeks, I would be the most popular mayor ever in Montpelier," Hollar said over a Skype session.
"It's a happy mistake. It's a small one, you have to look closely, but it wouldn't have happened without it, so it's a nice little coincidence and serendipitous for us," Hollar said.
One of the jerseys will be framed and put on display at the high school. The others will be auctioned off, with the proceeds going to the Solons athletic department and other charities near and dear to the Montpelier students.
"I was so excited, because I knew exactly what I wanted to do with them," said Noel Riby-Williams. The Montpelier senior soccer player is using the jersey to raise money for a church in Ghana, the country where she was born. "It's just great that out of a little kindness, another little kindness happens, and if everyone in the world spread kindness, the world would be such a better place."
An international incident of the good kind, forever patching a relationship between two communities.