Keeping a Son's Spirit Alive

Kathy and Rick Leidig

Kathy and Rick Leidig honor the memory of their son by helping other kids.

Kathy and Rick Leidig established the Tyler Leidig Summer Basketball Camp Scholarship Fund at Adirondack Foundation in memory of their son, Tyler Steele Leidig, who passed away in December 2006 as a result of an automobile accident.

Tyler grew up in Saranac Lake with his family. He was a gregarious young man who loved to play basketball with his friends. Tyler attended summer basketball camp at St. Lawrence University a few times during his sophomore and junior years at Saranac Lake High School; this helped inspire his passion for the game.

Kathy and Rick decided to honor the memory of their son by creating a fund that would help other kids learn to play basketball and develop a passion of their own. The fund distributes an annual grant to the Saranac Lake Central School Prize Fund. The grant is used to send two Saranac Lake students (a boy and girl, chosen by the SL basketball coaches) to the Adirondack Basketball Camp held at Potsdam State.

It was important to the Leidig's to support students' love of the game and give a leg up to those who could not otherwise afford to attend a basketball camp. Kathy Leidig keeps in touch with the recipients of the scholarships.

"They always talk about it," she says. "They love it."

SLHS basketball coach Don Carlisto, who was also Tyler's coach, helps out with the scholarship process, right down to making sure the kids have transportation to the camp.

"Don is great with these families," Rick says. "Tyler didn't always agree with everything his coach said, but he had a very positive impact on Tyler."

"Scholarships are an easy and positive way to remember Tyler and keep his spirit alive," Rick adds. "Our dealings with Adirondack Foundation have been excellent, we welcome the opportunity to give an experience to a young person that could change their life, even in a small way."

To watch a short YouTube video interview with the Leidig's click here.