Memorial motorcycle ride set as fundraiser

HUGHESVILLE – On May 18, the song of the late Sarah Frycklund can be heard in the roar of motorcycle engines echoing throughout the valleys of eastern Lycoming County and in tributes shared by her parents leading up to the ride-for-charity, which benefits Sarah’s alma mater.

For Melissa and Dan Frycklund, whose 20-year-old daughter was killed in a two-vehicle crash on Route 220 in November 2008, “Sarah’s Ride” not only raises money for a scholarship fund for a college-bound senior who wants to continue with music education, but it also is a reminder of the frailty of life and the fleeting existence of a kind and generous woman.

“This scholarship (dedicated to the East Lycoming School District) is a reminder that Sarah is not physically with us, but she is in spirit – I know that with all of my heart and soul,” her mother said in a personal note she shared, a heartfelt expression of the pain of a mother’s longing and gratitude for those who ride in her memory.

“I talk to (her) throughout the day and, at times, dream about (her) at night when sleep finally finds me,” she said. “She lived, laughed and loved the path she was on.”

The young Frycklund’s passion for performance started at an early age.

“You could hear it in the way she brought the music to life, as the notes sang from the instruments she played,” her mother said, recalling when her pre-teen daughter performed the theme to “Titanic” in a talent show at school.

“I cannot listen to the song,” she said. “It is heartbreaking to me that her family and the world will never get to acknowledge her accomplishments as a mature, elderly woman.”

Her father, too, said his daughter was not only musically gifted but generous, caring and always quick to respond to someone in need.

“Sarah’s desire to make a difference for others led her to complete three missions trips with her church (and) teach Sunday school,” he said.

She served as a volunteer aide at the Muncy Valley Hospital Skilled Nursing Unit and in mission trips with Evangelical Friends Church. Twice she went to Jamaica and once to Mexico.

“Lord in heaven, we miss her with a passion that Sarah herself created in us,” he said.

“It was in her nature to care for everyone no matter the situation,” he said.

She was proud, too, of Hughesville High School, and the school has honored her with a plaque displayed there.

On it is a picture of her etched in metal and a short reminder of her time at the school. Each year, another name is added to the plaque, as a recipient of the scholarship is selected after students write an essay that Sarah’s parents review before selecting the winner.

At Frycklund’s funeral, customers of Weis Markets, where she worked behind the deli counter, made a point of telling her parents how their daughter’s loving nature influenced them. Her last employers, including supervisors at Grizzly Industrial, where she had worked but had not yet received a paycheck, came to the Frycklund’s home after the crash to pay their respects.

“They knew her for only nine days and, yet, the stories of Sarah – comedienne and her ability to affect others – brought these people to us with a need to praise her memory,” her father said.

“They’re great people and dedicated to a cause,” said East Lycoming School District Superintendent Mike Pawlik. The family continues to try to raise enough money to fund the perpetual scholarship, he said.

“Once the amount reaches a threshold each year … it can be given to a deserving graduate who wants to continue his or her studies in music education,” he said.

Dan’s character was evident when he showed up unannounced during the September 2011 Tropical Storm Lee-related flooding. A professional chef by training, he brought all sorts of cooking utensils and equipment to the school, which served as a central gathering place for those displaced by high water, and he cooked for the families in need, Pawlik said.

Sarah’s brother, Nick, is a soldier deployed to Kuwait. In an email sent from the Mideast, he said his sister’s favorite color was purple and her favorite movie “Beauty and the Beast.”

“As a little girl, Sarah had developed a lump in her arm (for) which we went to a special children’s hospital. I remember fondly of spending quite a bit of time in that hospital as Sarah dealt with one of her scariest moments of her life up to that point,” he said.

Her father confirmed his daughter was a cancer survivor.

To this day, a wooden cross with Sarah’s name on it marks the site of the crash.

It’s a symbol of a life lost on a precarious curve on the highway near Beacon Light Road, and one that the motorcyclists will pass on the ride, according to her father.

“Lord in heaven, we miss her with a passion that Sarah herself created in us,” he said.