Captain Thomas John Heitmann

Always Loved, Always Remembered.

September 13, 2014
Spring Creek Golf Course in Spring Valley, IL
Registration starts at 9:30AM with a Shot Gun Start at 11:00AM.  Lots of great Cash Prizes, Games for chances to win, 50/50 raffle and Giveaways including a "Hole in One" Car Giveaway from Spring Valley Ford! Click here for the flyer.

All donations will go towards this project in remembering Thomas. Thank you for your contributions; any donation is appreciated in honoring a true hero's memory.

Rest in Peace, Thomas - always loved, always missed, and always remembered.

'A dream Thomas wanted' 
Kevin Chlum
Sports Editor
News Tribune

About two years ago, Thomas Heitmann wrote a letter to St. Bede track and field coach Mike Skoflanc.

The former Bruin standout wanted to see what could be done to raise funds to build a track at his alma mater.

Tragically, Heitmann is not able to see that project through.

Heitmann was killed Sept. 19 while flying an AH-1W Cobra helicopter during a training exercise at Camp Pendleton.

However, his family plans to fulfill Heitmann’s vision.

His father, Tom, and uncle, Gerry, are in the process of starting a foundation in Heitmann’s name with the intent of raising the funds to build a track — and possibly an entire sports complex — at the Academy.

“It’s a dream that Thomas wanted,” Tom Heitmann said. “Thomas wanted to do that for the school. Having a facility that other people can come and use - not only St. Bede (students) but the community - that’s what Thomas was about. He was about helping people.”

Despite not having a track to practice on at the Academy, Heitmann developed into a star runner.

Heitmann was named the NewsTribune Boys Track and Field Athlete of the Year after his senior season in 2002. That year, he earned a fourth-place medal in the 800-meter run at the IHSA Class A State Track and Field Meet.

Thomas, who still owns the school record in the 800, also ran on the St. Bede 3,200-meter relay that placed fourth in the state in 2001.

“Thomas loved to run,” Tom Heitmann said. “It’s kind of hard to run on parking lots. Thomas is not the only athlete who has done well through the years at St. Bede (despite the lack of facilities). What could some of these kids have done if they had a world-class facility they could practice on?”

The Heitmanns met with the St. Bede administration late in 2011 and went before the school’s board in January to present the idea of building a track. Gerry Heitmann said the board was “fully supportive” of the plan.

The Rettler Corporation, an engineering firm based in Stevens Point, Wisc., has consulted on the project.

Tom Heitmann said there are several options for where the track may be built, including around the football field or on the east side of the gymnasium, but he said the final decision would be left to the St. Bede administration.

The estimated cost of a track alone without a field inside it, stands or other amenities is $350,000-$500,000. The Heitmann’s hope to provide a fund to cover maintenance expenses along with donating the initial funds for construction.

The foundation plans to raise the money through various fundraisers such as golf outings and 5Ks.

“For us as a family, what better way of honoring a St. Bede graduate and a fallen marine than to put something up in his memory that meant a lot to him,” Tom Heitmann said.
Website Builder