5K held to honor accident victim
|Posted Oct. 20, 2006|
A large crowd of about 300 runners and walkers came to show their support for the inaugural Matthew Meyers Memorial 5K Run/Walk on Saturday at Cal Poly Pomona.
Despite the chances of rain, coordinators were pleased with the turnout.
“Our son was going to do something with service to others. Now others will be able to continue their work,” Kevin Meyers, Matthew Meyers’ father, said. “It’s important that the world have people who have that kind of calling.”
Matthew Meyers was a communications student at Cal Poly, who played guitar, yearned to help others and loved to run.
He was struck by a vehicle while crossing Kellogg Drive on Oct. 6, 2005, and died from the head trauma.
The Meyers family wanted to honor Matt’s aspiration to serve others by creating a scholarship fund.
Cal Poly agreed to hold a 5K run to raise funds for the scholarship.
“It’s amazing to see the community coming together, especially since this will last for generations to come,” said Douglas Freer, vice president of student affairs.
Matt’s Run took participants through a course around the campus starting in parking lot F, near the site where Meyers was struck by the car.
By the 18-minute-mark, Mark Ramirez, a Cal Poly Pomona student, had finished the 3.1 mile course while 100 other participants were approaching the one mile mark.
“This is my way of showing support,” said Sam McGee, a Cal Poly liberal studies major. “It was my first time to ever run a 5K. I’ve played sports my whole life.”
McGee was the first woman to finish the 5K with the time of 26:18 and placed 45th in the 5K over all.
While many came in support of the cause, some felt the need to participate because of a connection with Meyers.
“It’s very important for us to be in the run, since Matt was an alumnus,” said Ryan Schellack, a junior at Damien High School. “It’s going to become a tradition.”
Schellack was one of seven Damien cross-country students who participated.
Among the other participants, a group of five men who were close friends with Meyers were especially determined to take part in the 5K.
“We made a pact that we will all be here every year no matter where we are,” said Joey Elliott, Ontario resident.
The group had the letters R.F.L., for “Runners For Life,” on the back of their calves, a reference to a running group that the friends created during their freshman year at Damien.
“Anytime we ran we would have R.F.L. on our shoes or shirt. It’s something to show how much we liked to run, to show our athleticism,” Elliott said.
A boulder memorial was unveiled by Meyers’ family near Kellogg Drive following the awards ceremony.
Once a new sidewalk is installed, the memorial will be permanently placed in a prominent location of the walkway.
Roughly $16,000 was raised by the memorial run.
The scholarship will be awarded based on the person’s character.
An applicant with qualities similar to Matthew Meyers will be given the award starting in 2007.
Andres Rivera can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.