If you ask anyone who knew James Metz, they would recall his vibrant energy and big personality. "He was always jumping, talking, doing something - he had quite the presence," says James' dad.
James, who lived in Lancaster, NY, was just 14 when his life was taken so suddenly, and so tragically.
A small plane he was riding in collided with another midair. His loved ones were left devastated and searching for answers. But, what has carried them through has been the overwhelming response of love from their community.
"He brought so much fun to everything we did. No matter the occasion, it’s not the same without James’ love, humor and presence," says cousin, Nora Gregoire.
The Metz family, including many extended loved ones, have raised funds in James' honor since his death. The James Metz Memorial 5K is in its 5th year, and has raised more than $65,000, which has allowed his family to give away scholarships to deserving graduates, and help with revitalization of the basketball courts in the community park.
James loved basketball, and spending time outdoors with friends, as well as his young brother, Donovan.
"His memories are in our heart and soul. Looking at his parents, brother, cousins, aunts and uncles, we think of him and what he’d be today. James is missed by many; friends classmates, family," exclaims Gregoire.
The James Metz Memorial 5k is set for Saturday, June 15th in Lancaster. The family is hoping for a record crowd of enthusiastic supporters.
To register or find out more information about donating, click this link.
Special thanks to the incredible sponsors of the 5k:
Dan The Sign Man
DJ Dean Rogacki
In Memory LCpl Christopher Robinson
James O'May Physicians Assistant PLLC
Jim & Jill Metz & Family
Joe Basil Chevorlet
Aunt Johanna Metz Coleman & Family
Lady Killers Fine Autos
Lancaster Fire Police
Lancaster Police Department
Law Offices of Anthony Cervi
Liesure Craft Pools
Aunt Maria Martin
Uncle Pat & Aunt Noreen Williams & Family
Ronnys Take Out Pizza
Salhens Hot Dogs
Aunt Lorraine, Uncle Rich & Family
The Getzoni Agency
Town of Lancaster
Transit Animal Hospital
Village of Lancaster
Wendel & Loecher