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Local

Scavenger hunt in friend’s memory raises $2K

Cortland man killed self in June; funds will go to scholarship, suicide help

DeKALB – Chris Nesemeier spent his weekend doing things Seth Bartosik loved to do, like thinking outside the box, dancing with strangers and dressing up.

Nesemeier met Bartosik more than a year ago through mutual friends, and Nesemeier recalled taking him to a gas station so he could try his favorite flavor of tea: cherry limeade. Kyle Segura spent much of his childhood skateboarding around town with Bartosik. Dustin Lambert sat with Bartosik at lunch. This weekend, each worked to complete tasks and find items that made up a list of more than 300 activities, the Sethtastic Scavenger Hunt, to honor Bartosik, 20, of Cortland, who took his own life June 26.

More than 30 participants spent Friday through early Sunday morning doing things like milking a cow, playing Red Rover, doing yoga in a fast-food restaurant or ordering a Happy Meal with "extra happy." Many of the activities were posted on a Facebook page for the event.

"Seth would have loved everything," Nesemeier said. "Seth's the type of guy to try to do everything on this list. Without question he would have done it, so I did it. I think he'd be really happy."

Participants and family members gathered Sunday afternoon at the River Heights Golf Course clubhouse in DeKalb to share videos and photos of their adventures, as well as memories. More than $2,000 was raised through the event, which will fund a scholarship in Bartosik's honor. The amount was matched by Bartosik's parents, Brett and Laura Bartosik, to be donated to Suicide Prevention Services. People can still make donations through the gofundme.com site, which can be found by searching the Sethtastic scavenger hunt.

"The kids have had such a great time," said Laura Bartosik. "We have such an eclectic group of kids here who may not spend time together otherwise. We are thankful for how much love we have received."

She said she was pleased with how many good deeds were checked off the lists, like cleaning up a park or mowing someone's lawn. Brett Bartosik said they'd like to continue the event as long as they can, and Nesemeier looks forward to participating in the future.

"I hope [Seth] found happiness watching over us," Nesemeier said. "This can't heal wounds, but it can help. [The scavenger hunt] brought us all together."

Segura said he enjoyed driving his teammates around throughout the weekend, while they sang the "Barbie Girl" song. He said it's something Bartosik would have enjoyed, since he liked to goof off and try everything.

"I'm really happy with how it turned out," said Segura, who pitched the idea for the scavenger hunt to Bartosik's parents. "I hope it keeps growing. I want everybody to leave knowing we're all family, and no matter what's going on in your life, you can reach out and someone will be there for you."

More details

• More than 30 participants in the inaugural Sethtastic Scavenger Hunt

• More than $2,000 raised

• Donations will fund a scholarship in Seth Bartosik's honor and help Suicide Prevention Services

• To donate, visit gofundme.com and search Sethtastic Scavenger Hunt

If you need help

Call Suicide Prevention Services at 800-273-8255.

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