Founded 1901

Royal Purple

Founded 1901

Royal Purple

Founded 1901

Royal Purple

Kilar family moves forward

It was a race too close to call, and one that ended on a disappointing note for many supporters of “Treyton Kilar’s Field of Dreams.” The project was edged out at the last minute to receive a $250,000 Pepsi Refresh grant during the competition in January.

Treyton Kilar, 6, was killed in a tragic alcohol-related car accident on Sept. 2, 2010. “Treyton Kilar’s Field of Dreams” is still planned to be built in his memory, even though it narrowly missed winning the $250,000 Pepsi Refresh grant.

Despite the setback, the Kilar family is determined to make the dream a reality.

“I think what we’re doing now is just going back to the drawing board,” said Mary Kilar, Treyton’s mother.

The project’s official website,, says $60,000 of the estimated $474,000 to construct the field has been raised.

The cost of doing the site grading and installing the turf alone is $100,000. Despite the disparities between the money needed and the money already raised, Mary Kilar said the ballpark will “absolutely” be built.

“What people need to understand is that we had the plans for the field and we were going to fundraise for that field all along,” Kilar said. “When the Pepsi grant came up, that would have been icing on the cake, but the intent is still to build the ‘Field of Dreams’ and we’re going to get there.”

Mary Kilar

James Kates, the assistant professor of communication who helped put together the video for the Pepsi Refresh competition, also said confidently Treyton’s field would still be built.

Narrowly missing the Pepsi grant was obviously disappointing, but watching the community come together for one cause was tremendously encouraging, Kilar said.

“We’d be lying if we said we weren’t disappointed simply because the community so came together for this,” Kilar said. “We did it the way Pepsi intended us to do it; we built community upon community. On the flip side, we were so encouraged by how many people joined in the effort [for] this.

“We have said all along in this process that we’ve been touched by the love that people have shown us, and this Pepsi Refresh grant was no different.”

The Kilar family may enter the next Pepsi Refresh competition, which would take place in April, Kilar said. The competition is eliminating the $250,000 grant, but increasing the number of $50,000 grants available, she added.

“We so wanted that money, not because of the money itself, but because of what it represented,” Kilar said. “It really represented a community effort, and the community was not just within the city limits of Whitewater. The community was across the United States.”

A variety of possible fundraisers have also been brought to the attention of the Kilar family, including involvement from the UW-Whitewater baseball team, Capn’s Catering in Jefferson, an insurance company that matches funds, and Taco Bell, among others.

With the overwhelming feelings associated with losing a young child, and narrowly losing the Pepsi Refresh grant, Kilar said there is one driving force keeping her family going.

“When you go through something like this with much devastation, so much can come out of it that can be horrible,” Kilar said. “I think what we’re really trying to do is build hope from the despair that we’ve felt … by keeping Treyton’s memory alive, we can touch the lives of other people and really build awareness for what destructive decisions can do.”

Moving forward, Kilar said she does not set expectations for the Whitewater community anymore. But there is a reason for that.

“My expectations have far been exceeded from what this community can do,” Kilar said. “I was hoping for a few votes … I’m blown away on a daily basis by what people have done and continue to do.”

Kates also said he has lofty expectations for this community now.

“I think people will [step up and provide the funding],” Kates said. “The Kilar’s have said they are going to build this regardless. How elaborate of a facility it is depends on how much money is raised.”

Keeping Treyton’s memory alive is important for the Kilar family, but is not the only thing they are looking to do after such a tragedy.

“If we can even reach a couple people and send that message out that ‘please think about how you’re going to act when you’ve had some alcohol,’” Kilar said. “If the university students continue to do that, then we have made a difference.”

View Comments (1)

Comments (1)

The Royal Purple encourages readers to voice their opinions via the online comments section. Comments may be monitored for appropriateness and viewer safety. If a comment is harassing, threatening or inappropriate in nature, it may be taken down with editor's discretion.
All Royal Purple Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  • M

    Margie SchelsFeb 17, 2011 at 3:40 am

    YES, through their love for one another and their strong faith, the Kilars are moving forward. I’m sure that some days are more difficult than others, but all of us who know and love them draw OUR strength from their example. We are all blessed to have known their amazing little boy, Treyton! And his “Field of Dreams” WILL indeed be built!!!

Activate Search
Founded 1901
Kilar family moves forward