Hundreds participate in first Run for Miles in Berwick to fund scholarships
BERWICK, La. — More than 700 people participated in the first 5K Run for Miles event held Saturday at Berwick High School.
The run was held by The Miles Liner Foundation to honor the memory of Miles Liner and to raise money for scholarships.
Liner was returning from college with his high school sweetheart, Taylor Adams, to take part in the Berwick High School homecoming pep rally when they were hit by a drunken driver in late October 2012. Liner, who turned 21 in the days before his death, played football and baseball in high school. He was a junior at Louisiana State University, studying biological engineering, and was an active member of the Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity where he served as his chapter’s vice president.
Mark Villa, Liner’s uncle, estimated 750 people, which included 620 runners and walkers, helped raise about $20,000 for the foundation.
“We are very pleased with the turnout,” he said. “We ask each person attending, just invite another person to come along to keep this growing.”
In greeting the crowd outside Berwick High School, Villa said, “We thank you from the bottom of our hearts. Like he did in his life, this foundation is going to help a lot of young individuals.”
The Rev. Douglas Courville remembered Liner as a person whose smile extended a warmth.
Anne Theriot, an aunt to Liner, said, “He was just a phenomenal kid.”
Theriot added, “We hope that it goes on paying all his goodness forward.”
Liner’s father, Mike, said, “We are going to do a lot of good things with the money for those scholarships.”
His mother, Lynn, said the plan for next year’s event is to start a one-mile fun run.
Villa said he was encouraged by Saturday’s turnout. “We look forward to making it a successful foundation.”
An event is planned for the Louisiana State University Baton Rouge campus in the fall, he said.
Villa said the non-profit foundation’s top purposes are to keep Liner’s name alive and to fund scholarships.
To that end, a $5,000 annual scholarship is planned for a Berwick High School senior and $500 scholarships are planned for Patterson, Morgan City and Central Catholic high schools annually.
The top three male finishers were Jason Cavalier, 19:47; Troy Verret, 19:54; and Patrick Riggins, 19:59. The top three female finishers were Shannon Theriot, 23:09; Catherine Holcomb, 24:04; and Casey Leblanc, 24:59.
For more information, visit the foundation’s website at www.mileslinerfoundation.com.
Reporting by Jean Kaess contributed to this story.