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Dash for Drew draws more than 350 runners at Greencastle-Antrim High School's track

November 12, 2011|By ROXANN MILLER | roxann.miller@herald-mail.com
  • It was elbow to elbow Saturday at the start of the two-mile Dash for Drew fun run at Greencastle-Antrim High School.
By Roxann Miller

GREENCASTLE, Pa. — He liked popsicles, Rocky Balboa and playing pirates with his buddy.

While Drew Michael Taylor's life was cut short, his parents, Randy and Marcie Taylor, want to make sure their son is not forgotten.

On Saturday, more than 350 runners hit Greencastle-Antrim High School's track to begin the two-mile Dash for Drew. A two-mile fun run/walk also was held.

A traffic accident on June 13, 2006, claimed the life of 3 1/2-year-old Drew.

"Neither Randy nor I was willing to say, 'OK, 3 1/2 years, that was it,'" Marcie Taylor said. "We needed him to live on in more than just our hearts. We needed people to know that he was here and that 3 1/2 years was still enough to make a big impact."

Drew's parents have carried on his legacy by providing educational opportunities and grief and loss support programs for children, teens and their families through the Drew Michael Taylor Foundation.

The foundation is funded by fundraisers such as Saturday's Dash for Drew, which typically raises $5,000.

"We do this in his honor. He's the driving force behind it," Marcie Taylor said. "No parent ever forgets their child, but they don't want anyone else to, either. He impacted us for a lifetime, so hopefully, he will impact others in a positive way for a lifetime."

While Junell Hinsley, 32, of Chambersburg, Pa., and her son Isaiah, 11, ran the course, Hinsley's husband, Richard, and daughter Kyra, 9, cheered from the sidelines.

"It's for an awesome cause. My kids were 3 and 5 when it happened," Junell Hinsley said. "I didn't know them personally, but it still hit home because that could happen to anybody."

Isaiah Hinsley wasn't sure he wanted to participate until his mother told him the story of Drew. Then, he knew he had to run.

"It made me want to run it," Isaiah said. "It's good how Drew's mom is helping other people."

The fundraiser was a bonding experience for Tyler Gustafson, 14, of Shippensburg, Pa., and his mother, Megan.

While Tyler defeated his mother in the dash with a time of 14 minutes to her time of almost 20 minutes, that didn't matter to the teen.

"I wanted to come because it's for a good cause, and it's nice to spend time with my mom," he said.

As the mother of five children, Megan Gustafson marveled at Marcie Taylor's resilience.

"She's an inspiration," Megan Gustafson said. "She lost a child, but to know that God can give you that strength."

Marcie Taylor is a stay-at-home mother who runs the Drew Michael Taylor Foundation. She is studying thanatology, the study of death and the grieving process, at Hood College in Frederick, Md.

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Foundation website

For more information on the Drew Michael Taylor Foundation, go to www.drewmichaeltaylor.org.

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