Drew Guyer never got the chance to play for the Wellington Dukes varsity soccer team, but his parents are helping the team in his memory.
Drew, a 13-year-old, eighth-grade soccer defender, collapsed and died at an indoor soccer practice in 2013 from an undetected heart arrhythmia. He was also a guard on the middle school basketball team and had just finished playing a basketball game.
On Aug. 31, Brandi and Tom Guyer Jr. donated soccer nets to the Dukes. The $300 gift was part of their efforts to memorialize the lost son through the Drew Guyer Memorial Foundation.
The foundation, established by Drew’s parents, has raised about $13,500 through annual golf tournaments. A separate endowment, established by Wellington Schools and run by the Community Foundation of Lorain County, has raised about $57,000, the Guyers said.
The Guyers said their fund is designed to help Wellington. Their primary focus is on the needs of the Class of 2018, which would have been Drew’s graduating class.
“We want to be able to give back and give back quickly,” Tom Guyer said. “We wanted to be able to help as soon as we generate money.”
Drew, who began playing sports at age five, played with most members of the basketball and soccer teams.
Andrew Lara, who coached Drew in soccer throughout his childhood, said the death was traumatic for Drew’s teammates. He said they’ve tried to use the death as motivation.
“It was a hard realization for them that tomorrow’s not promised,” he said. “They try to play and live to their fullest.”
The Guyers said raising money for worthy causes has helped them cope with the death of Drew, who was their only child.
They’ve also benefited from community solidarity. Tom Guyer said residents have provided “incredible support and strength.”
Evan Goodenow can be reached at 440-775-1611 or @GoodenowNews on Twitter.
Evan Goodenow | Wellington Enterpise Soccer nets worth $300 were donated to the Wellington Dukes on Aug. 31 in memory of Drew Guyer by his parents, Brandi and Tom Guyer Jr. The 13-year-old middle school basketball and soccer player, died of heart arrhythmia in 2013. Pictured are Tom Guyer, Dukes soccer coach Andrew Lara, Brandi Guyer, assistant coach Jeff Bartolovich and athletic director John Bowman.