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Fundraiser Saturday honors late athlete
5K Run for Tyler at North Middle
Chance Morris got a tattoo in honor of his late friend, Tyler Howarth, who died in 2006. - photo by Submitted
At a glance

• When: Saturday, registration at 7 a.m., run at 8 a.m.

• Where: North Forsyth Middle School

• Contact: (770) 889-6332 or (770) 887-8315

• Online:
Tyler Howarth lives on in many ways, including tattoos, stone and hearts.

On what would have been his 18th birthday, his mother inked his name on her skin.

About a year after the accident that claimed the 15-year-old’s life, his friend Chance Morris got a cross with Howarth’s name tattooed on his back.

A stone monument to the former North Forsyth High School football player has a permanent home in the stadium, and a baseball plaque stands on the field where he once played.

Howarth was electrocuted in an accident on Lake Lanier on July 24, 2006.

For the past three years, the 5K Run for Tyler has been held in his honor and to raise money for the community.

“We have never lost him. He lives with us every day in many ways,” said his mother, Melody Howarth. “We have this run in honor, not memory, of Tyler.”

She started the event at a friend’s suggestion, since she and her athletic son used to run Atlanta’s Peachtree Road Race together.

“Tyler’s just very active,” she said. “It’s something that he would like.”

This year’s 5K run and one-mile walk will take place at 8 a.m. Saturday, starting from North Forsyth Middle School.

Awards will be given in male and female divisions, as well as age-group specific winners.

The cost is $20 to register. A limited number of T-shirts will be available on a first-come, first-serve basis.

Goody bags from Waffle House, a favorite restaurant of Howarth’s, will also be distributed.

Brett Hanna, a friend of the late teenager, said the event brings together old friends and happy memories.

“We all get together before the run and talk about Tyler,” he said. “It’s a good place.”

Hanna said Tyler was “like a brother” to him, someone with whom he remembers always doing things, like riding four-wheelers.

“He was just all around one of the best people I ever met,” he said.

Morris said he loved to hang out on the lake with Howarth. The two played baseball and football together, and became close before high school.

“He was a great friend,” Morris said. “He was one of the few people that you could really talk to.”

Morris asked off on the first day of a new job since he wouldn’t miss the event that honors his friend.

Proceeds from the event go to various community causes, such as funding a trophy case for North Forsyth Middle and providing laptops for local graduating high school seniors.

Melody Howarth said the Tyler Howarth Community Fund has raised more than $27,000 so far, with the run being the biggest fundraiser of the year.