Supporters want ballpark for boy killed in drunken-driving crash
I'm going to let it shine.
He was that kind of kid.
He didn't need to be taught how to love his neighbor. He just did.
He wanted to be a baseball star, but he also wanted everybody to enjoy the game.
Treyton Kilar, 6, was one of those little kids who, uncontaminated by the world's nastiness, shone with love and happiness.
On Sept. 2, Treyton of Whitewater was in his family's car in Troy Township in Walworth County when it was struck by a Chevrolet Suburban driven by Scott Dragotta, 44, of East Troy. Treyton's father, Michael, was treated for a broken sternum and neck bone at a local hospital. His sisters, Rosie and Kindyl, were not seriously injured. Treyton, unresponsive at the scene, was transported to Waukesha Memorial Hospital, where he died.
Dragotta was charged with homicide by intoxicated use of a vehicle, injury by intoxicated use of a vehicle and two counts of hit and run involving an injury.
Those charges don't make the raw truth easier: A family has been left without a son and a brother, and a community is left without a baseball-mad, good-natured, kid.
But out of that darkness, Treyton's light has sparked thousands of little lights of goodness.
Friends, family, high school students from across South Central Wisconsin, UW-Whitewater officials, the Whitewater Parks Department, a Milwaukee television station and several Wisconsin businesses have joined to create a Treyton Kilar "Field of Dreams" in his honor.
To understand the baseball field, you have to understand Treyton's passion for the game: He wanted to play for the Brewers.
Summers, he was active in the city of Whitewater's youth leagues. Off-season, he practiced whenever he could.
"Our house became a baseball field," said his mother, Mary Kilar.
The television was home plate; perhaps the sofa would be first base.
"He watched the Brewer games with his baseball glove on," said Rob Gosh, a Kilar family friend.
His mother said he'd watch the highlights shows and even reruns of Brewer games. He knew all the stats.
Treyton wanted to know how to get to the big leagues, and his parents told him it took lots of practice and a solid education.
"Once he asked, 'So what is this draft thing?'" Mary Kilar said. "He was really serious about it."
Treyton would loan his glove to kids or teach them how to throw and catch.
"It was more than just, 'I'm going to play baseball.' It was, 'We're going to play baseball together,'" Kilar said. "He wanted everybody to share his love of the game."
Once, Treyton went with his dad to a "meet the Brewers" event. They immediately got into the long line to meet Treyton's hero, Prince Fielder.
When they got up to Fielder, his handlers were trying to rush people along.
"Prince Fielder put his arm around Treyton and said, 'Don't worry, you just stay right here little man,'" Kilar said.
Treyton, wearing his Fielder jersey, had his photo taken with his hero. He told his mother never to wash the jersey again.
After the accident, Gosh begged the sheriff's department to re-search the wreckage and accident scene for Treyton's glove. Jammed between chunks of metal and debris, they found a precious piece of the little guy's big dreams.
Treyton was buried wearing his Prince Fielder jersey.
A few days after the accident, and after consulting with the family, Gosh approached Matt Amundson, Whitewater parks and recreation director, about creating a baseball field in Treyton's memory. Amundson was immediately on board. Soon, the UW-Whitewater Athletic Department added its support, as did two athletic field design and engineering firms.
"We're not trying to say that Treyton was better than any other kid," Gosh said. "And will it bring Trey back? No."
But it's not just about Treyton anymore.
It's for anyone who has ever dreamed big, Kilar said.
It's for anyone whose life was touched by Treyton's kindness or passion for the game.
"He wanted to share that love with people," Kilar said.
Plans for the fenced youth field include concrete block dugouts, bleachers and a scoreboard. The potential to light the field and provide a restroom and concession building will be determined by available funding, according a press release from the Whitewater Parks and Recreation Department.
Kilar said the outpouring of love from friends and strangers has stunned her family.
"We've gotten thousands of cards," Kilar said. "There is so much good in this world."
Most recently, the Edgerton High School volleyball team raised more than $1,400 for the cause. Kilar is an assistant volleyball coach at Whitewater High School, and the Edgerton girls presented the check to her at Thursday's game in Whitewater.
Kilar, who is principal of St. John the Baptist Catholic School in Jefferson, said she's also been buoyed by the support of her church and school family.
Only one thing is absent when Kilar talks about Trey. She doesn't talk about the man who faces charges in the accident and Kilar's death.
"Our mission right now is that no minute is going to be spent about hating," Kilar said.
Treyton, after all, was all about sharing love.
Everywhere I go,
I'm going to let it shine.