It’s every parent’s worst nightmare, to tragically loose a child.
By JENNIFER GARREAU
However, the memory of Dylan Jahner, will soon not be forgotten, through the efforts of his family, friends, the Hettinger Public School and the community, in the creation of Dylan’s Field in his honor. On Monday, Aug. 18th the new field was unveiled and dedicated, to the sports loving 10 year-old.
Jahner died June 12, 2013, in a heartbreaking accident, when he was struck by a van while riding his bike with his brother Braden Jahner.
One of Dylan’s classmates wrote on a small football, “You will always be part of the game,” and left it in his casket at the funeral. The sentiment gave teacher, Cindy Arndorfer the idea to create a last memorial to Jahner in the creation of the field.
Through the efforts of his classmates, money was raised to fund the project. They saved Box Tops for Education, the fourth grade class sold concessions at basketball games and the Huskies Wrestling Club donated all the proceeds of their t-shirt sales to the project.
“I wanted the kids to have ownership in the project,” said Arndorfer.
“With concession sales, we raised over $500,” said classmate, Abby Hill. “Ms Arndorfer made a big check and we hung it up in the school.”
“The community turn out in supporting this project has been absolutely amazing,” said teacher, Kasey Tuhy.
Despite some delays in starting the project, community members were always available to help with the project, and local businesses including Alliance Ag, Runnings and Hettinger Candy Company supported the field, said Tuhy. One Stop Sign Shop in Bowman donated the sign that will be the first thing children see when they come out to recess to play.
Future fundraising efforts for the field will be used for maintenance and upkeep of the field, to fund an additional soccer net to be put on the west end of the field, purchase chain link fence wrap and balls for the children to play with, said Tuhy.
Not only will Dylan’s memory live on in the field, his organs were donated at the time of his death, benefiting the lives of 68 people nation wide.
“It was an awesome experience. If Dylan had a choice he would have chose this for himself. He was a very caring and giving young man,” said Lea Kugel, Dylan’s aunt. “It was a hard situation but had a gratifying end.”
Kugel has become an advocate for organ donation and encourages everyone to visit organdonation.org.