When Cameron Logan was killed by a drunk driver in 2001, the senior at Salesianum left behind a group of friends who refuse to let his memory expire.
On May 5 and 7, the Shady Society will hold a series of events to raise funds for the Cameron Logan Scholarship Fund at Salesianum.
Named after Cameron's former nickname, his best friend Chris Fromuth said the "shady" moniker isn't meant to imply anything nefarious about Cameron's nature.
"That was back when we didn't all have cell phones, but he would be somewhere and we wouldn't know it or see him but there he wasn't," Fromuth, now 29, said of his late friend. "And if he wasn't there, he was probably off on some crazy trip. We didn't worry about him too much."
Friends ever since Fromuth relocated to Landenberg from New Hampshire at the age of 10, the two of them moved through Kennett Middle School before heading off to Salesianum for high school.
They were seniors when, four years later, Cameron was killed on Route 202 on May 5.
Eleven years later and his mother, Kennett Consolidated School District math specialist Connie Logan, said that living with the memory of the tragedy isn't so much easier as it is simply different.
"It still is heartbreaking, it still hurts daily. But it doesn't feel like your heart's being ripped out every day," Logan said. "When it first happens, you feel you can't go on. And after time you realize you must go on, life is too sweet and Cameron would want us to go on; he loved life."
Logan also said that the dedication Fromuth and his associates have for Cameron has her in awe.
"Their kindness has no bounds," Logan said, struggling not to cry. "Chris has kept up with me all these years, and we still go to Longwood Gardens at Christmas and he comes to visit me whenever he's in town, as do the others."
She added that Fromuth and Cameron were best friends and that she shared much of her pain together with him from the very start.
"He was at my house within half an hour after I called his mother," Logan said. "He came straight to me, and that was a gift."
"As a graduating senior, it was definitely earth-shattering," Fromuth said of the accident. "All those little problems - taking finals, where to go school, who is going down for Senior Week - and suddenly one of the guys you were going to share the week with is not around and never will be again."
As traumatizing as it was, Fromuth said Cameron's death also united his friends in unexpected ways,
"He was such a positive person, we all chuckled that we couldn't get so low because Cameron wouldn't want that," Fromuth said. "It helped us rally together to get through graduation, and in a way, it allowed me to pull my friends together and keep in touch."
That's why, Fromuth said, the golfing event and the "Shady Soiree" are fun and upbeat events that reflect Cameron's positivity and enthusiasm for life.
"We were trying to scheme it to his personality," Fromuth said. "Cam was a great writer of poems and essays, a few of which published in Portland. And that's just another piece that not everyone knew, he had this brilliant creative side to him."
To that end, Fromuth said they used snippets of Cameron's writings in the promotional materials, and designed the custom snowboarder logo to celebrate one of Cameron's favorite activities.
"He was a big snowboarder. He would always go to Mt. Hood for winter break, and some of us would join him. It really defined him early on."
Fromuth said that Logan, now an anti-drunk driving activist, gives the power behind Cameron's story resonance.
"She's the strongest of us all. To take such a tragic thing and turn it into something positive would make Cameron proud. That's the reality of it."
For Logan's part, the idea of honoring her son's memory 11 years later reflects his own giving nature.
"Whenever I see them, they are so generous and thoughtful. They keep Cam alive and that's a gift to me and to Cam's family," she said. "In fact Cam's sister said to me the other day; 'Wasn't he lucky to have such good friends?"
The Shady Society, a non-profit organization, raises funds to support the Cameron Logan Scholarship Fund, which helps offset tuition costs for need based students at Salesianum.
The Shady Soiree is Saturday, May 5 at McGillin's Old Ale House in Philadelphia. Tickets are $35, with a portion going to benefit the scholarship fund.
The Shady Scramble is Monday, May 7 at Loch Nairn Golf Club in Toughkenamon. Tickets are $100 per golfer; multiple sponsorship opportunities are also available.
For tickets or more information, contact the Shady Society at email@example.com or by calling Fromuth at 302-598-1064.