Soccer - Girls

'Carolynn Cosan Pavilion' unveiled at Horizon Park WITH PHOTO GALLERY

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It snowed on Saturday.

Not much, but for the many of us who had already packed away our winter clothing for the year, confident there was nothing but heat and sunshine ahead, the occurrence was an aggravating and all-too-familiar reality – a reminder that anything is possible with Michigan weather.

For Kip and Bob Cosan however, the brief mid-May dusting wasn't some twisted turn brought on by the variance of mother nature. Snow was exactly how it was suppose to be. At least, it was exactly how it was suppose to be on this Saturday.

Because, it was a sign of their daughter Carolynn. On a day they really needed one.

Carolynn Cosan died in a car accident on May 14, 2010, two weeks after her 18th birthday.

Six years later, friends, family and the better part of the Mt. Pleasant soccer community gathered on her behalf to honor the legacy she left behind, Mayor Kathleen Ling presenting the resolution and Bob and Kip cutting the ribbon as the Mt. Pleasant Soccer Club unveiled the 'Carolynn Cosan Pavilion' at Horizon Park.

“I was so happy to see so many people in attendance and to hear the kind words about the efforts of our club and our family to support this final wish of Carolynn's,” Kip remarked about the dedication, which completes the bulk of the revamp of Mt. Pleasant's soccer facilities. “We are blessed by such a great community to support our efforts in fulfilling her dreams.”

Slated to play soccer collegiately at Northern Michigan University post high school, Carolynn had seemingly found the ideal place to continue her studies – somewhere she could blend her love for snowboarding with her love for the pitch. Having been forced to play club soccer outside of Mt. Pleasant for much of her youth however, she wanted to leave something behind before she left.

“Because she was so passionate about soccer, it was a dream of hers that Mt. Pleasant would become a destination for soccer too where you could have tournaments and concessions stands and food to sell and t-shirts for sale,” Kip said. “She wanted Mt. Pleasant to be the place to go.”

Carolynn never got the opportunity to play soccer at Northern Michigan or make the two hour trek northwest from Marquette to snowboard Mt. Bohemia but, through the tireless efforts of the Cosan family and the Mt. Pleasant Soccer Club, it was ensured that her dream of making Mt. Pleasant a destination for soccer could become a reality.

“Well Carolynn, we know you are smiling now thanks to the effort of countless individuals who volunteered time and materials to make Horizon Park a regional sports venue site,” Kip wrote in a letter she presented to the city board earlier this year. “Many generations of children can come to enjoy this facility now with great appreciation for the foresight of one young woman.”

Carolynn looked forward to the first snow every year – her first chance to finally get back on the slopes. Since her passing, out-of-season snowfall has become something of a good omen for her close friends and family; a way to feel her presence even though she's no longer here.

But if there's one thing that Saturday's unseasonable weather made clear, it's that Carolynn Cosan is present in a lot more than snow. That had ceased to fall hours before her ex-coaches, teammates, players and the troves of other community members congregated to Horizon Park at 6 p.m., bundled from head to toe to withstand the cold and wind.

They weren't risking frostbite for a pavilion, they were doing it because each and every one of them had been touched by Carolynn in some small way.

“It's amazing when people come to me and to Bob and say, 'We didn't know Carolynn but she must have been awesome,'” Kip remarked. “Because the support we get for this club is all because of her. It just grows and grows. Young little kids who didn't know her come out and want to know if she was a superstar or something and it's just fascinating to see how many lives are touched by one human being who was only 18 years old.”

Carolynn might not have lived a long life, but her's was one whose imprint has continued to permeate long after her death and will continue to do so in the children and families who make Horizon Park their weekend home.

That's the type of legacy worth living for.

Last Updated: 5/15/2016 2:05:33 AM EST