Evan Sebenius Memorial Fund
$37,843 of $40,000 goal
Evan Sebenius began his last Half-Marathon at age 28 on Sunday, September 21st, 2014 in his home town of Carnation, WA, but did not finish the race that day. He collapsed near the end of the course, received medical attention, but did not survive.
Evan's Half-Marathon was attended by runners from around the country, who later heard the news of his death with shock, and have been asking the question, "how can I help?"
With the support of his family, we would like to organize a memorial run for Evan, to "run Evan in" to the finish line, and raise money to defray the inevitable costs that his family will now face. ALL funds raised through this site (after the site's own fees) will go to Evan's family.
Details about the memorial run are still in the works, but here are the plans so far:
* When: November 2nd, 2014, 9 am.
We've been given a heads-up that this is "Fall Back" day for Daylight Savings, so be aware!
* What: 5k memorial run
* Location: Tolt-McDonald Park in Carnation, WA
This is the same location as Evan's last Half Marathon, and our course will be out-and-back with the same start and finish line that Evan's race had.
* Option to do a "virtual" run in Evan's memory
* Race will be free. Donations should be made through THIS site.
* There will be registrations, for the purpose of a headcount and a "hold-harmless" waiver for the event.
REGISTER HERE for the in-person run in Carnation, WA on November 2nd, 2014:
Evan Sebenius Memorial Run - 5k Registration
Also, if you would like to participate in either the physical or the virtual versions of the memorial run:
FACEBOOK EVENT PAGE to stay up to date on what's going on:
Evan Sebenius Memorial Run - 5K - Facebook Event Page
Please feel free to bring pairs of used (but wearable) or new running shoes to the event. We will have a memorial at the spot where Evan collapsed, where we will create a tower of shoes for donation to people in need. Evan's own shoes will be donated to start the pile.
The run is not expected to be timed, and there are plans to make it possible for all participants, in-person or virual, to wear Evan's bib number. A number of volunteers are actively discussing and planning such things now, with thoughtfulness about doing things cleanly but thoroughly to plan a fitting memorial run event in a short amount of time. It is all happening very quickly. Please stay tuned.
We are looking for sponsors for the race. We would like to make it free to attend and participate, but there are permits, water for aid stations, liability insurance, Port-a-Potties, post-race food and drinks, and other such small things that it would be great to have covered. If you or your company can help us cover those costs separately from this fundraising please let us know.
UPDATE, as of 10/17/14:
IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO HELP SPONSOR THE MEMORIAL RUN:
Evan's father, Frank Sebenius, would like to use this fundraising source to pay for the cost of the run, as well. If you would like your personal contribution -- or your company's contribution -- to be used to help pay for the memorial run, please indicate so in your message when you make your contribution, and Frank will make sure those funds are directed to cover race costs. THANK YOU.
If you would like to volunteer to help make this event happen, please send a message to Erik Browne on Facebook with your contact information, or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org if you are not on Facebook.
If you want to contribute to show your support to Evan's family, PLEASE DO! Thank you for your support!
Evan's uncle, Jerry Mabbott, shared that Evan and his brothers, Aaron and Ryan, have been working to build an orchard and vineyard on their parents' property in Carnation, WA. The family would like to use funds raised here to help finish the project, which Evan had been funding.
Funds will go toward finishing planting and structures in the orchard, planting a small vineyard, and installing beehives. Produce from the orchard and vineyard would be shared with food banks in the valley.
What a great legacy to honor Evan's memory!
You can read more from Jerry about his nephew, Evan, on Jerry's blog. Jerry talks a little more about what happened to Evan, and about the orchard plans for these donated funds.
LETTER FROM EVAN'S FATHER, Frank Sebenius:
First of all, we want to thank everyone involved in the creation of this memorial run. This was Evan’s first attempt to do a formal half marathon. He trained diligently with a personal trainer. Evan watched what he ate and drank but still enjoyed life to the fullest.
As Evan’s parents, we thought we had experienced all of the facets of this amazing young man. Little did we know, that through this tragic event, it would be revealed the extent to which Evan’s life had impacted so many others.
The response from friends and family in a sphere of humanity we did not even know existed, has come forward to show us how he has changed the lives of so many people. Evan was a generous, kind, intelligent young man that seemed to be a huge part of hundreds of people’s lives. His spontaneous humor, deep philosophical opinions always kept the fires lit in every gathering forcing friends and family to examine themselves and laugh at themselves and toast to the next gathering. Rest in peace, Evan. You are loved by all.
As a side note, Evan was an organ donor and, again, through his generous spirit, is able to help 40-60 people with his passing. He was also a regular blood donor.
Your donations helped the Sebenius family pay for the quick construction of a stage/deck on the edge of the orchard, where they held Evan's Remembrance Gathering this past weekend, and also offset the expenses of hosting that event. It was a beautiful opportunity for Evan's family and friends to gather on the property where Evan grew up, and celebrate his life together.
Below is a photo facing the stage from the far edge of the orchard. Each circle of rocks and dirt is the location where a tree -- apple, pear, cherry, fig, and other varieties -- will be planted next spring. On the left is a tall trellis over the path with hops growing over it. The family intends to continue their tradition of brewing beer in Evan's memory with these hops.
The stage, close up:
Below is a glimpse from inside "The Cedars", a ring of cedar trees behind the orchard, where Evan and his brothers and cousins grew up camping, hosting parties and concerts, and finding solitude among the prayer flags. This is truly a spiritual place.
By all accounts, Evan was a truly remarkable, KIND, shining light of a man. His light continues to shine through his family, who invites you to lift a pint in Evan's honor, and celebrate him with a traditional cry: "Huzzah! Huzzah! Huzzah!"
The fundraiser for the Sebenius family is now closed, and a spreadsheet with information about contributors and your comments will be sent to Frank and Linda for their records.
The family hopes to make this memorial run an annual event, and has high hopes about how they can use future contributions in Evan's name to support causes that were dear to him. So stay tuned, and watch for the hashtag: #RunEvanIn!
We had six event photographers in Carnation today who are busily working on uploading their photos to a single Dropbox -- but it may take a couple days for them all to synch up, so give it a little time.
In the meantime, several people have expressed an interest in contributing to this fund for Evan's family, in the last few days, so the site will stay up through the end of next weekend, and will come down on Monday, November 8th. Thank you all again for your outpouring of generosity to the Sebenius family, and to support the memorial run today.
Attached is a copy.
Mr. Sebenius, we're not amazing. Your son was amazing, and we loved him. I still love him to pieces. Credit Evan, the incredible human being he was, not us. We're just the ones he left behind. The awesome and the amazing were within him - we were just lucky enough to have brushed up against it for a little while in this universe.
So sorry for your loss. I ran past him when he was being attended to by medics and hoped he would be ok. Condolences to his family.