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Rivals unite to ‘Light the Knight’ August 15, 2013

Posted by paulstella in Uncategorized.

Lite the Knight_web

A vivid memory from growing up, back in the 70s, is that one Friday evening each fall spent standing along the roadside. I’d watch as the school bus carrying the visiting team made its way down Route 5 to the opposing venue, and I’d marvel at the fanfare that erupted in its wake.

As a kid, I lived smack dab between the villages of LeRoy and Caledonia (although on the LeRoy side of the town divide). Equally matched in size (small) and power, the communities have regularly traded championships over the years in high school football. It’s been a rivalry of epic proportions and noteworthy to sports lovers across much of western New York.

I’m unsure whether matchups between the LeRoy Oatkan Knights and the Caledonia-Mumford (Cal-Mum) Red Raiders brings about the same passion today, but I do know that the care and compassion that one would expect from neighboring communities remains very much in play.

New shooz. Ready to run!

New shooz. Ready to run!

This Saturday, August 17, I will join hundreds of participants in my hometown for an important fundraiser. “Light the Knight” is a 5k run/walk that commemorates the lives of five young Cal-Mum graduates tragically impacted during a highway accident last month.

Taylor Binnert and siblings Christopher and Emily Peterson died after their vehicle was struck broadside by an oncoming tracker trailer. Two other young adults from Cal-Mum, riding in the same vehicle, were seriously injured. The group was returning home from an afternoon of volunteer work at a camp for disabled kids. What more needs to be said about these amazing young people. Their story has touched me deeply.

Understandably, there remains tremendous grief that results from the devastating impact on these promising lives. But while one community focuses attention on picking up the pieces, its neighbors (and, yes, long-time rivals) have summoned the strength to step forward and put together an effort designed to elevate the healing.

Luminary bags purchased by participants and non-participants alike will line the course and help light the way—shining the light of hope for members of two communities struggling to come to grips with this tragedy.

I hope that will consider offering support to this cause in anyway possible. LeRoy may be the home team this weekend, but the compassion of everyone involved should ensure that both sides emerge victorious.

Event preview produced by WROC-TV, Channel 8



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