Memorial race attracts 118 entrants

By Melissa Burnor

It was warm and sunny morning Sunday for the first annual Amy, Lisa and Abigail memorial 5K run walk. There were 118 people who signed up to complete the course in the village and Greg Scharer was the first person to cross the finish line

 “I was really happy to see so many people,” Robin McCowan, mother of Amy Merrill and Lisa Gritzmaker. The two women along with Gritzmaker’s unborn child were shot and killed in Merrill’s home last year by her estranged boyfriend. McCowan was also seriously injured.

Two of Merrill’s sons, Cameron, 11 and Brendan, 13, took part in the opening ceremony. With Cameron giving an insightful prayer and Brendan a warm welcome to all of he participants. Brendan said how thankful the two were to the community that reached out to their families. “They reached out to our family in ways we couldn’t have even imagined was possible,” Brendan Merrill said.

Many came because they knew the sisters or family. Others came because they had read something in the paper or had heard by word of mouth. Scharer, a native of Sand Creek, now residing in Houston, Tex. was in town for a couple of weeks. He routinely runs races in both Texas and Michigan. 

 Matt Dorr, of Clinton, placed second. Local resident, Trisa Iffland was the first woman to cross the finish line in 26:02. She was third overall.

For the complete story, please see the July 17,  2013, edition of The Advance. Copyright 2013, River Raisin Publications, Inc.