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October 10, 2013

Rotary, ECU plan game to fund Chris Lane memorial scholarship

DUNCAN — Three communities will come together to honor Chris Lane’s memory and to play baseball, a sport Lane loved.

John R. Hargraves, East Central University president, and Jeff Williams, ECU athletic director, talked about the upcoming baseball scrimmage between East Central University and Redlands College, during Wednesday’s Duncan Rotary Meeting. The baseball game will be played at 5 p.m. Oct. 15 at the Duncan High School baseball field.

Hargraves said he hopes the scrimmage helps heal the Duncan’s wounds, while also casting a positive light on the community. Hargraves said he has seen the negative impact an incident can have on an area and how difficult it can be for people outside the county to see the good of the community.

He talked about an incident in Wewoka, where a man was killed near the high school. He said no one wanted to come to the town to play basketball, which almost put an end to the season. But teams from around the country offered to go to Wewoka to play against the team and helped turn the season around.

“Someone understood that because one bad person did something doesn’t make it a bad place,” Hargraves said. “Good conquers evil.”

Hargraves said Lane’s shooting drew international attention, which impacted all three communities. He said the scrimmage will help the three communities as they continue to heal.

“We petitioned the NCAA and received permission to come to Duncan,” he said.

He said the goal is to celebrate Lane’s life. Sarah Harper, Lane’s girlfriend, will throw the opening pitch during the scrimmage.

Williams said the money made from the scrimmage will be put toward a scholarship for a Duncan High School student. The scholarship would be set up in Chris Lane’s memory. He said NCAA rules stipulate the high school can’t directly benefit from those funds, but a scholarship is allowed.

Hargraves said he’s excited about the scrimmage and hopes people turnout in support. He said the school will be inviting the ECU alumni who live in Stephens County.

“We’re looking forward to a great, great night,” Hargraves said.

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