On July 28, Verona resident Brian Erickson will be competing in Ironman Lake Placid, his first full-distance Ironman triathlon. But the significance of the event is much larger than the 2.4-mile swim, 112-mile bike ride and a 26.2-mile run it encompasses.
Erickson will be competing to raise funds for The Sean A. Collier Memorial Fund, created to honor MIT Police Officer Sean Collier, who was shot and killed defending the college from the Boston Marathon bombing suspects. Collier was the nephew of Erickson’s co-teacher at Summit High School.
“Reflecting on Sean’s kindness and service demonstrated by his actions, his values and his character, I am raising funds through the Ironman Foundation to support the Sean A. Collier Memorial Fund,” Erickson says in a letter to supporters. “Donations to this fund will be used to establish a Collier Medal to be awarded to individuals who portray the same qualities as our friend Sean exhibited. Any and all donations are appreciated to help honor a courageous man.”
Erickson included in his letter quotes taken from 19 pages of reflections on Collier by MIT students, like this one:
“He wanted to get to know students, he wanted to understand us,” said a senior student. “And he did it; he knew which students he was protecting every day when he came to work. By getting to know students, by talking to us, by sharing memories with us, by hiking with us, by dancing with us, by listening to music with us, he knew his community. He loved us, and we loved him.”
Erickson’s fundraising goal is $5,000. You can help him reach it by donating through this Web site.