By Andra Bryan Stefanoni
PITTSBURG, Kan. —
For the second year, the memory of a standout athlete has inspired people to get up and get active.
Some 600 people are expected at this morning’s five-kilometer run and one-mile friendship walk, which will serve as both a fundraiser for the Dylan Meier Get Busy Livin’ Foundation and a way to honor the life of the young man after whom it was named.
Meier, a former all-state quarterback at Pittsburg High School and former starter at Kansas State University who racked up numerous victories and honors, went on to play football in Europe and travel the world — from skydiving in the Alps to running with the bulls in Spain to working on farms in New Zealand.
He died April 19, 2010, in an accident while hiking in Arkansas with his family. He was 26.
A close friend, Tyler Scifers, said at last year’s event that Meier embodied adventure and a zest for experiences, but also was known for his generosity and kindness.
“New interests, new places excited him,” Scifers said. “But he always was interested in what others were doing, too. He could be skydiving in the Alps and call me because he wanted to know how my classes were that week.”
Close friends, family and a former coach chose to honor Meier’s spirit last year in a way that they believed was a direct reflection of his enthusiasm for life and people: They created the Dylan Meier Get Busy Livin’ Foundation.
The foundation’s purpose was to use donations to promote those values through student academic and athletic scholarships, sports camp sponsorships, student travel abroad scholarships, community service needs and other activities that motivate, inspire leadership and build character.
The foundation’s first fundraiser at Pittsburg’s Hutchinson Field, where Meier led the Purple Dragons to numerous wins in high school, was a success last May, with 450 people registered for the 5K, the one-mile walk and a kids’ fun run. The course was in the shape of the No. 9, in honor of Meier’s jersey number.
Today, the gates at Hutchinson Field, 1310 N. Broadway, will open at 7:15 a.m. Late registration may be done up to 8:45 a.m., with the 5K run and one-mile walk slated for 9 a.m. A kids’ fun run will be held at about 10:15 a.m., with an awards presentation to be at 10:30 a.m.
Entry fees are determined by participants, who are asked to enter the donation of their choice during registration. Suggested donations are $25 for the 5K and one-mile walk, and any amount for the kids’ fun run.
Gifts to the fund are administered through the Community Foundation of Southeast Kansas.