Family of child abuse victim turns grief into mission to raise awareness

Credit: WDTN

DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – A family is turning their grief into a mission to end child abuse. The 14th Annual Jansen Myers golf tournament kicked off today to bring awareness to child abuse.

It’s been nearly 15 years since 3-year-old Jansen Myers died from several injuries. His death was ruled a homicide, but currently no one’s being held for the crime. Despite the struggles, the family has continued to keep his memory alive.

Over the last decade, the Jansen Myers Child Abuse Foundation–setup by the family–has been sponsoring a golf tournament in honor of their son. Jansen’s father Bryan Myers says it’s given them an opportunity to help a special group of students.

“When we set out we wanted to do things for his class,” Myers said. “In particular, because we wanted those students to know who he was.”

While Jansen’s would-be classmates never met him, Bryan Myers has been sharing his son’s memory with them since Elementary School–sponsoring field trips, even buying school supplies.

“When he got in sixth grade we bought the entire grade and the teachers the book Diary of a Wimpy kid,” Myers said. “And we sent them to see the movie.”

This year, that same class graduated from Miamisburg High School–but not without a special tribute to their would-be classmate.

“The students in his class petitioned for him to have a seat,” Myers said. “They wanted an empty seat for him at graduation. So that says a lot. It speaks volumes from the students about what they thought and think of what we’ve done.”

And because of that, this year Myers is giving 5-thousand scholarships to two students, including Paige Trentman.

“When Brian tells the story, it just breaks your heart,” Trentman said. “I’m just so grateful that they would choose me to be apart of that.”

Not only does the Myers family want share their son’s memory, but they also want to spread a message of prevention and education about child abuse. Myers says today’s golf tournament does both.

“The golf outing every year has raised a ton of money for us,” Myers said. “There’s more to come within the district. We’ll do thing athletically and so forth. We won’t give a scholarship because that was something we were dead set on and felt very strongly about doing for his class, but that doesn’t mean we won’t continue to do things important for the students at Miamisburg.”

Myers says he plans to continue doing the golf tournament next year. For more information on the Jansen Myers Child Abuse Foundation and how you can help, visit their website.

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