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He brought color to a gray world

By NEESEY PAYNE

neesey@southwesttimes.com

He will always be remembered as a young man who brought color to a gray world. And that’s how Cameron Fitzwater will be celebrated, with a Color Me Cameron 5K Run/Walk Color Run. “Hey Fitz!” a friend would say walking down the hall of Pulaski County High School. Fitzwater with his dirty blonde, shabby haircut, dressed in a tie-dyed T-shirt, shorts, and TOMS Shoes, would turn around, smile and give his friend a bear hug. That’s just the way he was. On April 4, Fitzwater died tragically in a single-vehicle wreck on Interstate 81, just two months shy of graduation. His untimely death had a profound impact on the community. People came in droves to bid farewell to a young man who gave color to the lives of all he encountered. It was his personal style, signature smile and kind soul that touched the hearts of many. Friends, teachers and loved ones describe him as being “talented,” “full of personality,” and a “fine young man.” One could never mistake who Fitzwater was. He was, indeed, one of a kind. “Someone once asked me to describe Cameron. I told them that God took a handful of crayons and scribbled him inside and outside of the lines,” said Fitzwater’s mother, Terri. The Color Me Cameron 5K Run/Walk Color Run will celebrate Fitzwater’s legacy while raising money for the Cameron Fitzwater Memorial Scholarship fund. This year, four Pulaski County High School graduates who attend Emory & Henry College, Hampden-Sydney University, New River Community College and Virginia Tech were awarded $1,000 scholarships. “We are continuously raising money for future scholarships. Since Cameron was unable to attend West Virginia University this year as intended, we would like to see as many students as (possible) continue with their education with a little help from The Cameron Fitzwater Memorial Scholarship. This scholarship is his legacy,” said Terri. Saturday, April 6, 2013, two days after the one-year anniversary of Fitzwater’s death, community members are encouraged to come dressed in their whitest T-shirts for the Color Run. Registration will begin at 8 a.m.; the race will start at 9. As participants run or walk the course, they will be doused with bright colors. The Color Run will end at the town gazebo with local band, Aside Oceans, playing music for a rainbow of people. The event is not a race; times will not be kept, but a celebration of Fitzwater’s colorful personality and life. To sign up for the 5K Run/Walk, visit www.active.com. Registration is $25 for participants who sign up by March 6, 2013. After that date, registration is $30. Those who would like to be official sponsors of the event should contact Terri at 980-1736. “One thing I have learned from Cameron is always think large and always do large,” said Terri. “I don’t expect 100 runners, I expect 1,000, and I think we might just be able to do that.”

 

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