Zingers for Zach

IN MEMORY — Trilla and Scott Miller of Gettysburg hold a picture of their late son, Zach, who died last year. The family has formed a non-profit organization to assist young student athletes.

Zachary Miller was a generous soul.

“Zach was very giving,” said his mother, Trilla Miller. “He would always ask to help others. If it was something he had and someone else wanted it, he would give it to them. He wanted everyone to be involved.”

The 10-year-old Gettysburg boy lost his life last May in an all-terrain vehicle accident while vacationing with his family in West Virginia. He loved sports and the outdoors and played football for the Gettysburg Generals. He was a natural leader, playing quarterback for the team, his family said.

Zach’s family, friends and teammates will carry on his giving spirit and his love of sports through Zingers for Zach. The newly formed nonprofit organization provides funding for equipment, registration fees, sports physicals, or any other need, allowing young people in need to stay in the game.

“If we can do it, we’re going to help,” Trilla said this week as she, her husband Scott, and Scott’s parents, Kay and Rick Miller, gathered in the Millers’ living room.

Community support for the family and for the organization has been “amazing,” Trilla said. The first fundraiser for Zingers for Zach, held last fall, was a cornhole tournament and silent auction that raised $15,000. The organization has already been able to assist several local youths in lacrosse and soccer programs, she said.

Zach’s friends and former teammates continue to remember him during sports and school events as well. Participants in James Gettys Elementary School’s Race for Education event this month wore blue t-shirts with Zach’s name printed on the back. In fact, the phrase “Zingers for Zach” comes from his friends and baseball teammates, who encouraged each other to hit home runs, “zingers,” in Zach’s memory at a game after his death.

Moving forward, the Millers said they want to develop partnerships with local coaches and sports organizations to help distribute the funds most effectively.

“A lot of times the teams and coaches know the kids in need,” Scott said. “Anything to funnel the money into the hands of kids.”

There are no financial guidelines or income limits for applying for help, the Millers said; the only requirement is financial need.

As the first anniversary of Zach’s death approaches, the family is still grappling with overwhelming emotions, and they aren’t sure how they will commemorate the date.

But this summer also comes with some happy news for the Millers: Trilla is due to give birth in June to the couple’s second child.

More information about Zingers for Zach, including how to apply for funding or donate to the organization, is available online at zingersforzach.org or facebook.com/zingersforzach.

Ashley Andyshak Hayes has been writing for the Gettysburg Times since 2005. She currently covers general assignment stories as a correspondent.

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