(so we never forget)
When young Kyle Runciman of Fresno had to keep a face mask over his mouth and nose for two hours each day for treatment of his asthma, he and his mother. Heather, would make up adventure stories involving pirates and blood-thirsty sea creatures like sharks, squids and octopuses to pass the time.
Always an adventurer, Kyle became a certified scuba diver at Aqua Sports at 10 years old and earned his airplane pilot’s license at age 16. Many of his school friends from Manchester Gate and Edison High School knew Kyle as a fun-loving member of the forensics team, the marching band and the wrestling team. He was famous for asking “why?” when presented with new information.
In April of 2007, Kyle, at the age of 16, and his stepfather, Dick Smith, passed away when the small plane they were piloting together crashed near Tehachapi.
Although their lives were cut short, the two friends shared a common goal: to bring the nonprofit 501(c)(3) Public Aquarium to Fresno.
Now, with the help from contributors to the Kyle’s Kids fund, Aquarius Aquarium Institute is raising funds to build an educational facility that will feature touch pools, classrooms and interactive, museum-quality exhibits. It will be a place where children of all ages will experience the very beginnings of the Institute’s living aquatic animal collections – a place Kyle and Dick would have loved to visit together.