A great way to honor those we've lost
June 6, 2023

By Mark Murphy

Today’s destination was one I was particularly looking forward to, I have a lot of wonderful memories of Washington, NC.

Every year I come here with old Fuller buddies and the setting is just gorgeous. For a Southerner, being on the NC Inner Banks looks very similar to how I remember New England’s coasts with picturesque fishing villages and fishing trawlers. Today’s ride didn’t disappoint as we averaged over 16 mph over 72 miles and were treated with great scenery.

As I rode along, I thought of friends both present and gone. If I’m honest, I really don’t do too well dealing with loss. I lost my father at 19 and in many ways, I still feel that loss more significantly than you’d expect 45 years on. Those who know me know that I’m terrible at saying goodbye because in the back of my mind the possibility of us not seeing each other again haunts me. For me it’s easier to fade to the background and avoid that awkward and sometimes emotional “so long”.

It was after the funeral of a cycling friend, Les Kevehazi, as I was struggling to comprehend the loss that seeds began to germinate leading to the creation of the Fuller Scholarship program. I felt so impotent, how could I do something to memorialize his life. I was haunted by the hymn that was chosen by his wife “Here I am, Lord” as I had most recently heard it on my first Fuller cross-county journey and was amazed how accurately how it pictured what we were doing, bringing God’s message and love to others.

My initial thought was to offer his widow (also a cyclist) a cross-country trip with Fuller to memorialize Les’ existence and hopefully provide her with a heart healing journey. For logistical reasons, that hasn’t come to fruition yet, but it did lead to the opportunity to memorialize Les as our first Scholarship honoree.

Over the years we’ve had the opportunity to honor many loved ones, some cyclists some not, both living and passed on through the Scholarship Program. It is my hope that these scholarships will inspire a younger generation to participate in the Fuller Center Bicycle Adventure and allow fellow riders to know the wonderful people honored by the Scholarship Program.

Ride In Peace my friends.

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