by Andie Diemer
Nov. 12, 2008
When Elon alum Kyle Fleischmann went missing on Nov. 9, 2007, many of his family members and friends never thought they would be gathering together a year from that day with almost all of their questions unanswered.
The cause for convening was the 2006 graduate’s disappearance after a night out in Charlotte. But those who met to remember Fleischmann worked to create more awareness about his situation and raise funds for his charity, the Kyle Fleischmann Foundation.
Senior Ryan Stimmel is the President of Kappa Alpha Order, Fleischmann’s fraternity while at Elon. KA was one of several groups to sponsor events last weekend in Fleischmann’s honor.
“We’re continuing to keep him fresh in people’s minds,” Stimmel said. “By no means have we forgotten, but we’ll keep making an effort in the hopes that someone out there will notice and come forward with information that could lead us to information about finding out what happened to Kyle.”
At the young alumni party at Lighthouse on Friday, a table was set up to pass out information, collect donations and hand out Kyle Fleischmann Foundation wristbands.
On Saturday morning, a vigil sponsored by Elon’s religious life met at the National Pan-Hellenic Council garden. More than 30 brothers and alumni attended and used the event as a forum to reflect on their relationships and time spent with Fleischmann, Stimmel said.
Before, during and after the football game against Western Carolina, more information regarding his situation was passed out and more donations were collected.
While there was no specific goal set, the group raised more than $500 for the Kyle Fleischmann Foundation this past weekend.
“We didn’t have any idea what to expect from people or what kind of reception we were going to receive,” Stimmel said. “It was amazing how many people came up and remembered the same thing from last year and how many people remembered his story. They are obviously sad it wasn’t resolved, but they were glad to see we’re still out there a year later trying to find some resolution to his situation.”
Stimmel said KA will continue to work with the foundation and assist with any event they may be sponsoring. A golf tournament was held in his honor in Charlotte on Saturday, and KA sponsored a hole on the course.
Fleischmann’s father, Dick, attended the tournament Saturday in his son’s honor. He told Phoenix14News he still misses his son.
“We take it day by day. It’s very painful because there’s still no closure for him,” Fleischmann said. “I believe he was killed. There’s no doubt in my mind.”
While Stimmel hopes there is some type of resolution before another year passes, he said the group will continue to sponsor events in his honor annually if no conclusion is reached.
“He’s a brother of ours and we know that he’d do the same thing for us, if anyone of us were in this situation,” he said. “The fact that both alumni, who knew him a little better than the people at school, care so much about his cause and that we’re continuing our efforts speaks to the strength of the brotherhood we have.”
Stimmel said many alumni and members from the foundation were thankful they were able to continue to spread the word about Fleischmann and other missing young adult’s situations.
“He’d be doing as much as he can if it was any one of us. That’s something we’re pretty proud of. We’ve come together, even though there’s no resolution, and can still demonstrate strength by coming together and supporting his cause.”
There is a $50,000 private reward for anyone with information leading to the resolution of Kyle’s case and his whereabouts.
The Kyle Fleischmann Foundation
Established in November 2007, The Kyle Fleischmann Foundation works to spread public awareness and educate others about missing persons as well as support the families missing loved ones.
They focus on education and prevention and train speakers, including Fleischmann’s father, to travel and talk about their experiences and offer tips on how to stay safe.
The Foundation marked the one-year anniversary of Fleischmann’s disappearance with a charity golf tournament and banquet in Charlotte to raise money and awareness.
On Dec. 13, members of the Kyle Fleischmann Foundation will race the Thunder Road Marathon Relay in Charlotte to raise awareness as well. To lean more or donate, visit http://www.thekff.org
Kyle Fleischmann, then 24, was last seen leaving Buckhead Saloon in Charlotte around 2:20 a.m. on Nov. 9, 2007. Shortly after that he was identified as buying pizza at Fuel Pizza in uptown Charlotte around 2:25 a.m.
He has not been heard from since.
Fleischmann graduated from Elon with a business administration degree in 2006. He volunteered with the Special Olympics, the Boys and Girls Club and was an officer of the Kappa Alpha Order fraternity.