Wacky bowling continues legacy

To honor their beloved mother and wife, siblings Austin and Karsyn and husband Andy Miller collectively decided to host one more Wacky Bowling event on Feb. 10.

“It was other things too, but really, we wanted to do it for Jessica,” Andy said.

The Wacky Bowling event started in 2010, by Jessica Miller, as a way for the racing community to get together in the winter time and raise money for Karsyn’s Krusaders as well as other organizations.

“People came because they believe in what it’s for, you know? It’s always fun and enjoyable,” Andy said.

Jessica Miller died July 11, 2017, in an automobile accident in Wisconsin on her way to a race with the Karsyn’s Krusaders race car.

The family started Karsyn’s Krusaders Kickin’ Cancer’s Butt One Lap at a Time, in January of 2010 after their daughter, Karsyn, was diagnosed with high risk acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) in 2008 at the age of 3 years old.

With a childhood filled with racing and the love of the sport surrounded in friends and family, Jessica and Andy formed this local organization because he said they wanted to honor their daughter.

Even after Karsyn’s recovery, the family’s support wasn’t done. They also honor other patients by using their passion to help others finish their race too.

It started with T-shirts and hoodies raising up to $11,000, and now, seven years later, just the 2018 Wacky Bowling event alone has raised a little over $13,400.

After raising so much money, the board of directors for Karsyn’s Krusaders, which was run by Jessica but now Andy has taken over as head chairperson, decides where the money should be donated.

According to KarsynsKrusaders.org, as of 2016, the organization has supported 501C3 organizations to help families in 17+ different states, has over 7,600 fans on Facebook, receives national television and magazine coverage, sold over 10,000 merchandise items, and has raised and collected over $650,000 through merchandise sales, partnerships and events.

“It was like Jessica’s baby,” Andy said.

The organization has also donated to Caringbridge, Ronald McDonald Charities, Make a Wish Foundation, Children’s Mercy Hospitals and Clinics, University of Iowa Children’s Hospital and many more places locally and nationally.

“Jessica was very persuasive,” Andy said. “She wouldn’t take no for an answer.”

Jessica had been involved with her community, volunteering and fundraising for many years.

She was the president of the Waterloo Jaycees, was the driving force to get a Make a Wish chapter in the Cedar Valley, founder of Karsyn’s Krusaders and served on the Evansdale City Council.

“She had a vision for helping people,” Andy said.

Austin and Karsyn, as well as their dad and the board, have decided to keep Karsyn’s Krusaders going, but it will be much scaled back, and fundraising or donating will happen in different light.

“I don’t think she quite understood how she touched the lives of the people around her, but, hopefully, she does now, looking down,” Andy said.

While everyone goes on and lives their life to the fullest, Jessica left a long lasting legacy one lap at a time.

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