Concert and race will honor Wayne Burlison

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 16 January 2015 at 12:00 am

Events will help fund memorial scholarship for Albion music teacher

Provided photos – A concert on Jan. 30 and a 3.17-mile walk/run on March 28 will honor the memory of Wayne Burlison and raise money for a memorial scholarship.

ALBION – Two upcoming events will include two passions in Wayne Burlison’s life: music and running.

A concert on Jan. 30 and a 3.17-mile walk/run will also raise money for a memorial scholarship in Burlison’s name. The Albion Alumni Foundation will administer the fund. The group has set a $10,000 fund-raising goal with a plan to offer a $500 scholarship each year.

Burlison’s wife Lisa, an elementary school teacher, will help select the scholarship winner.

“With a strong passion for music and the fine arts, he was also a person of integrity and perseverance, believing that all can achieve in ways they hope to grow,” the Alumni Foundation stated. “He sought to find ways to help others learn, especially amongst difficulty. Mr. Burlison loved both the school and his community, showed compassion towards others, and was dedicated and committed to his family.”

Burlison was 36 when he died from colon cancer last March 26. He worked as an elementary band teacher at Albion. He was active in the community, playing in several music groups.

He also promoted fitness through the Albion Running Club, which organizes the Strawberry Festival 5K/8K. The Running Club will debut the “Run for Wayne” on March 28 with the course starting and ending at the school.

The Jan. 30 concert will be 7 p.m. at the middle school auditorium and will feature
Albion music teachers and some ensembles and groups that Wayne was involved in throughout the years. Scheduled to perform that evening are The Mark Time Marchers, The Hit Men, the praise band at the Albion Free Methodist Church, The AHS Jazz Ensemble (Wayne was the assistant director), and an ensemble from the AHS Marching Band (Wayne was the assistant director).

Tickets are $5 and will go directly to the scholarship fund. Sponsorship opportunities are also available. Call 589-2050 ext. 2405 for more information or click here to be directed to the Alumni Foundation website. Tickets are also available at Bloom’s Flower Shop and Fischer’s Newsroom

Besides his active involvement in music programs, Burlison also became an advocate for health and wellness.

Burlison lost nearly 150 pounds in 2008. He was about 300 pounds before he started losing weight through the Wii Fit game, exercise and healthier foods.

He ran early in the mornings and became a long-distance runner, completing a 26.2-mile marathon and several half marathons. He also was a leader of a 12-week running program that culminated with the 5k at the Strawberry Festival in June.

That “Run for God” training program continues with another session starting in March. Burlison’s friends in the Running Club are taking the lead in organizing the 3.17-mile walk and run. The distance is a little longer than the 3.1-mile 5Ks. The 3.17 represents 3 months and 17 days, the amount of time Burlison lived from his cancer diagnosis until his death.

The “Run for Wayne” will begin at 12:01 p.m. That start time represents one of Burlison’s favorite Bible verses: Hebrews 12:1. “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witness, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.”

Participants in the event will receive shirts and medals. For more information on the “Run for Wayne,” click here.