BROOKLYN CENTER, Minn. (FOX 9) - This Memorial Day weekend, there are plenty of picnics and barbecues in local parks, but one has more meaning than your average cookout.
Saturday, a Twin Cities family honored one of their own gone too soon.
It was the second year for the MOE123 Community Picnic.
It’s in memory and honor of Moe Sarim, who would’ve been 43 Saturday.
His family lost him to the flu over a year ago, but they say they’re not letting his memory fade and are honoring him in a way that he would’ve loved.
It had all the fixings of a traditional holiday picnic, but with a little more meat to it.
“He was the glue that kept all of us together and even doing things like this, still the glue that is keeping everyone together,” said Amanda Duncan, a friend of Moe Sarim.
Sarim died in January of last year because of flu complications.
“Anyone who knows Moe knows how big his heart is and just to do anything for anyone before himself, a great brother, great friend, great son and we lost him way too early," said Marty Massih Sarim, the MOE123 Founder and Chairman.
Family members, including Moe’s brothers Marty and Seraj, a FOX9 Photojournalist, wanted to find a way to honor him.
So, they started a scholarship in his name: MOE123.
“What we found out with this foundation is it’s been a way of healing for our family,” said Sarim. “It’s been a way of making sure he’s not forgotten.”
Friends who loved Moe say it’s the right way to honor the lifelong learner.
“He always wanted to keep growing, so it’s very fitting for who he was,” said Duncan.
The first round of scholarship winners at Park Center High School received their $5,000 award in January on the first anniversary of Moe’s death. All five winners were at the barbecue Saturday.
“He was also an A student and he was hardworking like me, so I want other people to succeed like he did,” said Envy Agbonkhese, a MOE123 Scholarship recipient.
Moe’s family knows this is something he would be proud of.
“I think he’d understand why we’re doing this and I don’t think he’d be surprised because he’d do this for any one of us,” said Sarim.
Saturday’s picnic also represents the kickoff for fundraising for the MOE123 scholarship. The family said they want to grow the program and award more winners come January.
For more information, visit the MOE123 website.
DISCLAIMER: Moe Sarim's brother, Seraj, is an employee of FOX9.