JOHNS CREEK, Ga. – The Findley Oaks community in Johns Creek will soon have an $85,000 nature/walking trail of about 0.7 of a mile around the Findley Oaks Elementary School campus, all for the memory of a child.
Tyler Safarriyeh was a precocious 11-year-old with a special zest for life. When he died tragically in a skiing accident in 2011, his family and friends were determined to preserve Tyler’s memory in a way that befits his approach to life.
So his parents Carrie and Jeff Safarriyeh started the Tyler’s Way Foundation with the help of family, friends and neighbors to honor the life of a child so young yet so full of life.
They gathered June 5 at Findley Oaks Elementary to celebrate Tyler’s life, to play a kickball tournament in his memory – he loved kickball – and then to break ground on a truly spectacular gift to the community.
Kristen Portaro, a friend and president of the Tyler’s Way Foundation, said the community, especially Seven Oaks subdivision, still remembers Tyler.
“That was the effect he had on people. He was a caring person, yet just so full of life. Tyler’s Way got started because we just weren’t ready to say goodbye to him yet,” Portaro said.
The foundation sponsors various events as well as gives back to the community, but today it was both. More than 50 kids – including several of Tyler’s friends – were there to have fun and enjoy a beautiful day.
“We have such a lot of people here who love Tyler. And what we have is a community coming together. They help us raise money, give scholarships and awards and help those who have less,” said Carrie Safarriyeh.
The walking trail at Findley Oaks seemed a fitting thing for the Tyler’s Way Foundation to mark his memory.
“We wanted something that would be a lasting mark – something that the whole community could use,” said Carrie. “And it is something tangible for our supporters to see and use.”
Findley Oaks Assistant Principal Cindy Lamb was on hand to thank the foundation for its contribution to both the school and the community.
“This will be such a nice place for parents and kids to use. We’re excited to have it,” she said.
At the groundbreaking, Carrie expressed her feelings.
“Grief never ends but neither does love,” she said. “So our love for Tyler is with us always.”
For information about Tyler’s Way, visit them online at tylersway.org.