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Cody Myers' vision lives through foundation

A year after the murder of Lafayette teen Cody Myers, people are still coming out to honor his memory by supporting a cause close to his heart: helping deserving kids gain access to musical instruments and lessons.

The 19-year-old Myers was known for his passion for music. In fact, the last time his mother, Susan, saw him, he was on his way to the coast for the Newport Jazz Festival. 

It isn’t clear if he ever arrived, as he was murdered on Oct. 1, 2011, the day of the event. 

Last month, federal indictments were handed down for the people believed responsible for his death and several others during a vicious West Coast crime spree — white supremacists David Joseph Pederson and Holly Ann Grigsby. They are now facing federal charges of murder, kidnapping, robbery and carjacking, in addition to an array of state charges.

In the weeks following his death, his family formed the Cody Myers Music Outreach Foundation.

Susan Myers said members of the family were all sitting around the living room when someone made a comment about continuing a cause Myers had started — the mentoring of young children in music. She said the concept evolved from there.

“It’s something Cody was already doing,” Susan said. “He’d stay after church and help teach people how to play guitar. This was his passion, music and being able to serve.”

She said the foundation is an extension of what her son was already doing. It’s a vehicle to keep his spirit alive, she said.

Myers played in Chris Garcia’s band, “The Chris Garcia Project,” and the two were friends. Garcia has donated his time to teaching music to some deserving students himself, she said.

The foundation is looking for businesses or individuals willing to donate money, time, instruction and/or instruments. 

The first instrument the foundation received was an electric guitar from Joyce Krull. It belonged to her son, Matthew, an Oregon State University student killed by a drunk driver at the same age as Myers -- 19.

The foundation donated it to a promising young guitarist.

Krull, like Myers, loved music. He left behind two guitars.

His mother had been keeping them ever since his death in 1996. When she learned about the foundation, she said she felt like it was God’s way of telling her where those guitars belonged.

Susan said goals for the foundation include working with schools to help children afford band instruments, as even instrument rentals can be cost-prohibitive. She said the group would love to put on a music summer camp for children as well. 

The second annual fundraiser for the foundation is set for noon to midnight Sunday, Oct. 21, at the Trails End Saloon in Oregon City. Carrying a $10 cover charge, it will feature several fun prizes and perhaps a silent auction.

For more information about the foundation, visit codymyersfoundation.org

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