MSU freshman’s legacy lives on with memorial rink

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Plymouth, Mich. — On Sept. 19, 2016, Michigan State University freshman Mitchel Kiefer was killed in a car accident on I-96.

Kiefer went home for the weekend and was driving back on Monday morning for class when a distracted driver rear-ended him, which caused his car to cross the median and a truck crashed into his car.

Fast forward to a little over a year now and Kiefer’s family are trying to end distracted driving and help his legacy live on.

“We thought that if we could raise money and also spread the message of the dangers of distracted driving that would be a much better way to honor Mitchel’s memory,” Steve Kiefer, Mitchel’s dad, said. 

One way they are honoring Kiefer’s memory is by naming an ice rink in his name. Kiefer played hockey for Detroit Catholic Central and was a member of the 2016 state championship team.

CC plays their home games on the Olympic rink at USA Hockey Arena and from now on, it will be known as the Mitchel Kiefer Memorial Rink.

“To be able to have our sheet of ice where we’ve played numerous of games to be named after one of our brothers means the world to us, the team, the Catholic Central community, the fathers, the coaching staff and anyone who knew Mitchel,” Aaron Babicz, Detroit Catholic Central athletic director, said. 

The Kiefer Foundation has held many fundraisers and raised nearly a million dollars. As a result, they have helped fund cable guardrails on I-96, put up billboards, attend high schools to talk about the importance of distracted driving and much more.

“I look forward to coming to these things all the time because I think it is so great to see all of these people that love Mitchel and they are here to support my family and it’s all my friends and all his friends and it makes me feel really close to him,”Julianna Kiefer, Mitchel’s sister, said. “It makes me feel like we are doing something to honor him.” 


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