Runners participating in the first Kyle Miller Memorial 5K Run/Walk on Sunday, Aug. 24, in Hilliard will wear T-shirts with specific colors indicating how they knew Kyle Miller, who drowned March 15 in a kayaking accident at Prairie Oaks Metro Park.
Family and friends established the event in his memory and in the hopes of creating a permanent legacy for Kyle: a scholarship in his name at Otterbein University, where he was studying zoo and conservation science.
Kyle was a 2010 graduate of Hilliard Davidson High School, and classmates who knew him will wear blue shirts, the team color of the Davidson Wildcats.
His Otterbein University classmates will wear red.
Family members will have their own color, said Pam Miller, Kyle's mother.
His father, Craig, and sister, Ashlin, will all share the color.
"Some of my neighbors came up with the idea and we thought it was a perfect way to create a legacy for Kyle," she said.
Kyle was a zoo and conservation science major at Otterbein University and among the first class of students for the university's newest major.
"He had finally found what he was meant to do," his mother said.
Kyle loved the outdoors and all it had to offer, including wildlife and animals, she said.
Kyle, 21, drowned while attempting to rescue his dog that had fallen out of the kayak the morning of March 15 at Prairie Oaks Metro Park, according to authorities.
Kyle and 19-year-old Austin Gifford both jumped into the lake. Gifford was able to swim to shore but Miller did not survive what Hilliard police Chief Doug Francis called "challenging conditions."
"(The 5K) is a way for us to focus on all the good things," Miller said.
The Kyle Miller Memorial Fund was established to create an endowed scholarship at Otterbein University for a junior or senior in the zoo and conservation science program.
The goal is to raise $25,000 to create the endowment.
"Through the endowment, Kyle's story can live on by helping others who share the passion he had," Miller said.
Advance registration for the Kyle Miller Memorial 5K has closed, but participants may register from 8 to 8:45 a.m. Aug. 24 at Roger A. Reynolds Municipal Park, 3800 Veterans Memorial Drive.
The event is scheduled to begin at 9 a.m.
Registration is $25 for adults and $20 for students.
For more information, visit kylemillermemorialfund.com.