For Stormy Meyer and her family, the annual Kade Meyer Memorial 5K is joyous, but hard.
The race raises funds for scholarships given in memory of Kade, the seven-year-old son of Stormy and Mark Meyer. He was killed in a car accident outside of Madison Elementary School Sept. 2, 2010.
“We as a family, we’ve chosen to make (the race) a joyful occasion,” Stormy said. “It’s a day to celebrate. The weather always turns out so nice, and I think (Kade) has a hand in that. It’s hard, but it’s joyful. We don’t want to make it a day of sadness. We want to make it a day of seeing kids smile.”
September is a difficult month for Stormy, but the race gives her a purpose. Organized and staffed by dozens of volunteers, Stormy has gotten more involved in the planning each year. This year’s race will be on Saturday, Sept. 19 at Celebration Park.
“It gives me something to work on that part of the year,” she said. “It helps us carry on Kade’s legacy and creates something positive in our community to celebrate his short seven years.”
To date, the race has funded more than $54,000 in scholarships. The goal is to fund scholarships for local kids through 2021, the year Kade would have graduated from Gardner Edgerton High School, where his father, Mark, is now principal.
Kade would have loved the 5K event, Stormy said. The Madison Elementary student enjoyed sports, especially football, basketball and baseball, and spending time with his family. He also loved Legos, which will be a part of this year’s 5K.
A local company, Bricks 4 Kids will be bringing their bricks, which are actually Legos. They will set up an activity area where kids can play with things that have already been built or make their own creations. There will also be bounce houses, free ice cream and cinnamon rolls for participants.
The race includes a kids’ one mile fun run.
“That’s really cool to see all those kids run around that lake out there,” she said.
Stormy said the event is somewhat cathartic. No one thinks they’re even going to go through losing a child, she said.
“You never think it’s going to happen to you,” she said. “And you don’t know how you’re going to handle it.”
For the Meyer family, Stormy said they’re choosing to keep going.
“We choose every day to get up and make it good,” she said. “This event every year helps us keep going.”
Runners can register the day of the event, Sept. 19, beginning at 6:30 a.m. or they can pre-register online at www.kademeyer.com. The kids run begins at 8 a.m. and the regular run begins at 8:30 a.m. at Celebration Park, 32701 W. 159th Street.