Story and Photos by Shirley Brosius
He was a fine young man who loved music and art, and his life ended all too soon.
But his legacy lives on through the Jared Sheaffer Memorial Soccer Game and the scholarships it supports.
The game will be played between teams of alumni men at 6 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 7 at Millersburg Area High School stadium.
Admission consists of a donation of any amount to the memorial scholarship fund.
‘You know, we can play soccer’
Jared Brent Sheaffer died at the age of 24 on Aug. 30, 2005, at Lehigh Valley Hospital in Allentown from injuries resulting from a car crash.
He is survived by his mother, Shelly Heiser of Millersburg; his father, John ‘‘Jack’’ Sheaffer and his wife, Mary, also of Millersburg, a brother, Caleb, and step-sisters Stephanie and Emily Bashore.
Now an annual event, the first game was organized by Chris Bulick and Dino Tsitsios as they discussed how they might support the Sheaffers following Jared’s death. Both had played soccer with Jared, and Jack Sheaffer had served as their coach.
Tsitsios remembers saying to Bulick, “You know, we can play soccer. We can gather everybody around one time a year, and we can also raise money.
The money was first used for Jared’s medical bills, but later the scholarship fund was created for a Millersburg student pursuing a career in music or art.
Last year’s event raised $1,700, and the goal for this year’s game is to raise $2,000.
“Knowing that we could have a positive impact on a young person’s life was utterly amazing to say the least,” Bulick wrote in an email.
“It just shows you that (Jack Sheaffer’s) extended soccer family really truly cares for him. I know for me, coming back and participating in the game, just brings back all of the great memories I shared with Jared.” Jordan Knisely, Millersburg’s assistant boys’ soccer coach, who now serves as the annual game’s organizer, remembers Jared as a friendly upperclassman.
SEE MEMORIAL SOCCER • PAGE A10