Story By Hannah Lester / Photos Contributed
Lace up your shoes. Whether you’re an avid runner or down for a one-mile fun run, the D1 Life Foundation is hosting its first-ever D1 Life 5K on April 22.
“The benefit is to raise money for the D1 Life Foundation, which is an organization that we started in memory of my nephew, Dylan Pegues. He passed away from a car accident back in June of 2022,” said Jessica Green, Pegues’ aunt and a board member for the foundation. “A goal of the foundation is raising money for seniors toward college scholarships.”
So, the money from this 5K will go toward local scholarships.
The foundation (D1Life.org) hopes to eventually provide scholarships to other types of things too, Green said, like photography seminars and church camps.
Pegues was only 17 when he died in a car accident.
“He was at Auburn High School; he was a junior,” Green said. “He loved soccer, he loved the Lord, he loved his family, he loved photography and he just lived life very intently and purposefully. And that’s kind of — at least for me, as his aunt — that’s been a strong reminder of what I want to do going forward in my life to help honor him and remember his legacy.”
The foundation was formed a few months after his passing.
“We were — Gary, Dylan’s father, and his mother Debbie, as well as his sister Alexis — had been talking about finding a way that we can turn our pain into purpose and kind of channeling our grief into something that we feel like gives back to the community,” Green said.
This is not the first event that the D1 Foundation has held.
Green said there have been other fundraisers in partnership with other local associations and entities.
“We’ve raised money to go toward a soccer scholarship for the Auburn Thunder team that Dylan was a part of throughout his life, and we gave that at an awards banquet from the foundation,” she said. “And we’ve done fundraisers here and there, but this is our first big event.”
The events, held in his memory, will begin at 8 a.m. on April 22 at Town Creek Park (1150 S. Gay St.) with a one-mile fun run, followed by the 5K at 8:30 a.m. There will be local business vendors onsite as well.
Green said there is no set amount the foundation hopes to raise from the 5K.
Join others in Auburn as they laugh, run and raise money in Pegues’ memory.
“Dylan loved deeply and fiercely,” Green said. “He was so kind to all people.”
Register here: https://d1life.org/events/inaugural-5k.
“I know it’s a run and sometimes people think that you have to be a runner to come out or you have to be super athletic, and we really want to make this day a fun, family event so you don’t have to be a runner to participate in the day.”