Megan's Fund

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  Friends remember Brunswick student

by Angela Pfeiffer
Staff Writer

Oct. 23, 2003

Megan Bolton

The tributes roll in.

"Megan -- hey sweety. You are one who is Respected by many, Liked by many and loved by all. You will forever remain in all our hearts and we hope to meet with you again some day."

"I never spent a moment around you when you didn't have everyone cracking up at your silly jokes. Even though you're not here with us you can still make us smile."

"Nothing is the same without you. I remember you always lit up the room with that glowing smile of yours. Even though I didn't know you as well as I would have liked, I knew you well enough and missed you lots. You were such an optimist ... nothing was ever that bad to you. As I read everything that people have written to you I get to know you better & miss you more.

"Megs, I miss you so much. I know you were in Maryland for a short time, but it was long enough to change anyone who met you. You had a way to make a bad day go right."

These are just a few of the praises written for Megan Anne Bolton, a 17-year-old Brunswick High School student from Adamstown who was killed in a car accident last summer.

Megan's friends in the Brunswick area and in the community where she grew up -- Camp Hill, Pa. -- have written pages upon pages about her on, a Web site Megan's family started to honor her.

Dr. Dana G. Cable, professor of psychology and thanatology at Hood College, said "in memory of" Web sites are becoming a popular way for people to express their grief.

Cable said the method is even more popular among teenagers, whose lives are integrated with Internet technology.

Cable said a Web site allows grieving friends and relatives to reveal emotions that would be difficult to express in person. "It's a way of sharing and realizing common feelings about the person," he said.

The site is not the only effort to memorialize the teenager.

Megan's father, Gage Bolton, has started scholarship funds in her name at the high schools she attended in Camp Hill and Brunswick. T-shirts honoring Megan are being sold to benefit the scholarships.

And this Friday, she will be honored during a memorial at Brunswick High School.

A local band she befriended will play a song they wrote for her, and a weeping cherry tree will be planted in her name.

Cherries were her favorite.

A sudden ending

Megan was 17 and about to enter her senior year in high school when she was killed on July 8.

She was going to get the muffler on her 1993 Mazda 626 fixed - Megan thought it was loud; best friend Patty Skaggs thought it sounded "like a racecar" in the community where her father lived, near Harrisburg.

She was driving from the house of her mother and stepfather, Diana and Greg Lutz, in Adamstown. She, Patty and their best friend Stacey Livesay had tickets to a Frederick Keys' game the next day. An earlier game for which they had tickets had been rained out. They were excited -- they had made T-shirts to wear to the game

Stacey called Megan the night before her trip. Stacey never told people she loved them, she recalled last week in her Brunswick home, but something made her say those three words to her best friend that night.

Stacey got a call from Megan's mother the next day; her cell phone number was programmed into the family's phone.

Megan had been driving on U.S. Route 15 in Pennsylvania when her car crossed the grass median and hit a Ford F-250 truck head-on. Megan was killed instantly. The car spun into traffic and was sheared in half when it collided with an 18-wheeler.

Police said driver inexperience caused the accident. They would later say Megan was driving more than 80 mph.

Her friends, who spent many hours in the car with her, wonder about that diagnosis. Patty and Stacey said Megan was a conscientious driver, especially on the highway.

"She always went 65," Patty said.

"With both hands on the wheel," Stacey added.

Instead, her friends believe she may have been caught up in a song on the radio when the accident occurred. Megan loved music and she loved to belt out songs in the car.

Whatever really happened, Stacey was charged with calling all of Megan's friends and spreading the word of her death.

Ten of Megan's friends drove up with Stacey's parents to the funeral, which was held in Pennsylvania. Stacey spoke a few words about her friend to a packed audience. People had lined up shoulder-to-shoulder to pay their respects to Meg.

"She taught us so much"

Megan Bolton, the only child of divorced parents, moved to Adamstown from Pennsylvania in August 2002 to live with her mother and stepfather and their two small daughters, Sarah and Emily.

In her junior year at Brunswick High School, Megan quickly made friends.

"She was a positive kid," her father said. "She liked to have a good time and keep people happy."

"She was just one of those people who, just looking at her, you just know she was a friendly person. She just beamed when she smiled. She always wanted to know how you were doing," said Adam Shuck, 17, who worked with Megan at the Buckingham's Choice retirement community.

Shuck is also the bassist in a band called 2birdstone, who wrote a tribute song, "And Megan," that will be played at Friday's memorial.

Megan met 17-year-old Stacey when they shared a lunch period. Megan had her nose in a book until Stacey convinced her to put the book down and speak up. Their friendship was instant.

Patty met Meg in a class they shared and they also quickly became friends. Stacey and Patty had been best friends in middle school but had drifted apart. Meg brought them back together, and today they're closer than ever.

In addition to being a talented field hockey player, Megan loved to write and planned to enter the field of writing or journalism. Her plan was to write for the school newspaper in her senior year, study for two years at Frederick Community College and then transfer to a larger college in or near Pennsylvania.

Megan was also a talented student and loved to draw. She was inducted into both the National Honor Society and the National Art Honor Society.

Michael Chilcutt, one of Megan's art teachers at BHS, said she had a great sense of humor and no qualms about speaking her mind.

"I was lucky to have her in my advanced level art class so that I could see her artistic talent," he said. "She had talent, and more importantly she was willing to work hard and improve her work."

Meg, Patty and Stacey had their favorite hangouts -- Roy Rogers, McDonald's, Starbucks -- went to dinner every other week and attended many basketball games together.

"When you went out with her, it was nonstop laughter," Patty said.

While Stacey coached Meg to work hard at her studies, Meg taught her friends about the lighter side of life -- such as the time she and Patty showed up at Starbucks in their pajamas.

"She brought me out of my shell," Patty said.

"She taught us so much about how to let loose and have fun," Stacey said.

"Her philosophy was 'No regrets.' She didn't like to look back and feel sorry about things."

That two-word motto is now helping others in Megan's name. Her friends and family are selling T-shirts with the motto for $10 apiece to benefit the scholarship funds.

There was one more way Meg may have affected her friends' lives for the better.

On Aug. 17, Stacey, Patty and another friend, Lauren Blodgett, were in Patty's car in Salisbury. Patty was the driver and was waiting for a group of motorcycles to pass so she could make a turn.

The car behind them rear-ended them at 55 mph. Despite the severity of the accident -- Patty's car was totaled -- no one was injured.

Looking at Stacey, Patty said last week, "I know, you know and we know, Meg was looking down. She had her hand there, stopping that."

Megan's spirit was there in another way, too.

Despite the fact that she was uninjured, paramedics forced Patty to lie on a backboard, head entombed in a neck brace, for two-and-a-half hours.

And when they were taken to a hospital, for some reason they were taken to the prisoners' entrance. Patty said the experience was horrible, but Stacey thought it was funny.

Perhaps Meg was there laughing, too, they said.

It was Megan's bright spirit that keeps her friends from crying as they recall their time with her. They know she wouldn't have wanted them to grieve.

Megan wrote the following in a December 2002 poem she called "Revelations":

"people come in our lives so fast, and leave it just the same, these people teach you who you are, and how to stay in the game."


Website by: Rick Weaver

In loving memory of a beautiful daughter, sister, granddaughter, niece, cousin and friend