Kilar family represents community well

In early September 2010, a story came across several media sources about a 6-year-old Whitewater boy who was killed by a drunk driver.

Many people, including myself, didn’t think much of it at the time; being from a larger city like Milwaukee, I would watch the news and often hear of murders or people who were killed in car accidents. As many say, sometimes those stories may get swept under the carpet and just become a statistic

As assistant news editor of the Royal Purple at the time, it was my duty to report this news to the university and surrounding community.
My first article on the accident was a brief overview of what had happened.

But the story of Treyton Kilar grew to become more than that; Treyton’s story has become a reminder of an important life-lesson for all of us, as well as a community building project.
Once the Kilar family had announced they would like to build a little-league baseball field in memory of Treyton, interest from baseball fans skyrocketed.

Over a year later, not only have baseball fans been touched by this story, but nearly all community members for numerous reasons.

The rumored divide between university students and community members may still exist, but this story and cause has helped bring people of all ages together. The plethora of fundraising events put on by the Kilar family and many community members have helped lessen the divide.

After another story introducing the “Treyton Kilar’s Field of Dreams” project, I was able to interact with individual members of the Kilar family.
While following most of the family’s fundraising events, including their two attempts at a Pepsi Refresh grant, I came to know the family more.

On Monday, the Kilars were presented with the opportunity to throw out the ceremonial first pitch by the Milwaukee Brewers during their second game of the National League Championship Series against the St. Louis Cardinals.

This honor the Brewers provided shows how much the Kilars have meant to the Whitewater community, Milwaukee area and even the state.
The Kilars have shown patience with the media calling and bugging them for stories.  Many people in their situation might get annoyed, but they have accepted the fact that this has turned out to be a huge cause.

Covering this cause has also been a reminder of an extremely important life-lesson, which Mary stresses every time she is interviewed: do NOT drink and drive. Decisions like that cause destruction in not only the driver’s life, but also others as well.

The Kilars serve as role models for life lessons in respect, family and bringing a community together.

The project is creeping closer to its goal of raising over $400,000, but it could still use any help that anyone can provide.
With everyone’s help, “Treyton Kilar’s Field of Dreams” can be built next spring.
Whitewater is lucky to have a family like them representing the community.

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