The first annual Zeke Stepaniak Memorial Fund Kickball Tournament will kick off this weekend, Sept. 15-16, and continue next weekend, Sept. 22-23, at Lakota West High School.
All proceeds from the event will benefit the Zeke Stepaniak Memorial Fund, created to honor the Lakota West student, who died after being involved in a fatal car wreck March 16.
The Ezekiel “Zeke” Stepaniak Memorial Scholarship will be awarded annually to a student at Lakota West High School that exhibits Stepaniak’s qualities. The inaugural award will be presented to Stepaniak’s graduating class in 2013.
Stepaniak was known among the student body, the Lakota staff and in the community, as a person who smiled all the time and was never angry.
“The thing about Zeke, that amazed me, was that he was always kind to everyone,” said Michelle Day, Stepaniak’s English teacher. “He never met a stranger. He was just a very laid back, sincere person.”
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The closest to Stepaniak describe him as person that puts his friends and family ahead of himself.
“He did everything for all of his friends,” classmate and close friend Jonathan Jung said. “If you call him at 2 a.m. and you don’t have a ride, he will come get you. He also put family first before anything.”
His upbeat personality didn’t end at school or at home, he also showed that side everywhere he went – including at work.
“He was the type of person that you couldn’t be angry when you were around him. He wouldn’t allow it,” McDonalds assistant manager Amy Sargent said. “You could not have a smile on your face. He made this place not feel like work. He made it feel like we were hanging out and making the occasional sandwich. He just lit up the room, the second he walked in.”
Contributions to the Ezekiel “Zeke” Stepaniak Memorial Scholarship Fund can be made by sending a check to:
The Community Foundation of West Chester/Liberty
Attn: Ezekiel ‘Zeke” Stepaniak Memorial Scholarship Fund
5641 Union Centre Drive
West Chester, OH 45069
For more information about the tournament, visit its Facebook page.