DUNWOODY, Ga. - A scholarship fund is being set up in honor of two people killed in a plane crash back in May.
Greg Byrd, 53, and his two sons, Christopher, 27, and Phillip, 25, along with Christopher’s fiancée, Jackie Kulzer, were headed to the University of Mississippi in Oxford to see Greg Byrd’s younger son, Robert, graduate. The single-engine Piper PA-32 they were in went down shortly after taking off from DeKalb Peachtree Airport. The plane ended up hitting the center median on Interstate 285 and catching fire.
Kulzer's brother and sister-in-law, Matt and Maggie Bailey, have partnered with the University to set up a memorial fund in honor of Christopher Byrd and Kulzer who graduated from Ole Miss.
"Ole Miss is where they met and it meant a lot to them," explained Maggie Bailey. "I know they would want to give someone else the opportunity to experience what they did at such a great institution."
The Baileys wanted to do more than just ask for donations. So, Maggie will run the Rock 'n Roll Half Marathon in New Orleans in February 2016 in Kulzer and Byrd's memory.
"It definitely is going to help me with my grieving process. You know, every time I go running, I just think, 'I'm doing this for Jackie and Chris,' Or wen I get to a point where I want to stop I just--I honestly think I've got to do this for Jackie and Chris and I make it up the biggest hill or keep going for the extra mile," said Bailey.
Planning the scholarship and reaching out to potential donors has helped the Baileys channel their sadness into something positive. The couple will officially start the campaign on October 17, which was supposed to be Byrd and Kulzer's wedding day.
"My sister actually would've turned 28 last week and Chris would be turning 28 tomorrow," said Matt Bailey. "Those days are extremely difficult and we know that day is going to be very difficult for us and for our families. But we think be launching this campaign and really trying to shed some positive light on these down days that it will really help all of us and help those who continue to grieve get through it and really see something positive come of it."
Anyone interested in donating can do so by going to umfoundation.com/makeagift or sending a check to UM Foundation, 406 University Avenue, Oxford, MS 38655. Those wishing the money to go to the fund should note the "Kulzer/Byrd Memorial Fund" in the comment field or memo section of the check.