Continuing a Lego legacy, one year after fatal plane crash - KSFY News - Sioux Falls, SD News, Weather, Sports

Continuing a Lego legacy, one year after fatal plane crash

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This weekend marks the first anniversary of an event thatshocked South Dakota.

On December 9, 2011, a twin-engine plane crashed justnorth of the Sioux Falls airport, killing its four members on board.

The crash killed Dr. Daniel Swets, Kevin Anderson, JoshuaLambrecht and their pilot, Brian Blake.

One year later, their legacies are living in in SouthDakota's youth.

It was that sound that brought many of us back to childhood,Legos.. But for three grown men, Daniel Swets, Kevin Anderson and JoshuaLambrecht, Legos were still a part of their lives, before the passed away.

Robyn Swets lost her husband Dan in that plane crash, lastyear. As she explains, it was 2007 when she and Dan became active in the FirstLego League hoping to capture young minds across the state.

"We would sit in our living room and talk (First LegoLeague), it was always about FLL. I'm so glad to be keeping it going.  It brings me closer to him, still,"Robyn Swets said.

So much of her new SD Robotics Association center, in SiouxFalls, reminds her of her husband. She's glad to be taking over his role in thestate.

"It kind of would remind me of old times, remind me of howthings were going. I can ask him for help, think about what would Dan do? He didn'talways have the answers but he had a lot," Swets said.

New to the Lego League this year, Mark Gierach, who joinedwith his 9 year old son as a coach.

"Just watching my son and the whole team evolve and as theygrow together, that's really the reward," Mark Gierach said. "The way the (FirstLego League) is designed, you have to allow the children to solve the problemson their own. You want to help them but in reality, the help is helping themhelp themselves."

And for Robyn Swets, it's about the kids, while keeping herhusband's memory alive.

"To see what they believe in so much is turning into thisexciting success and spreading it across the state, it's wonderful. I hope itcontinues," Swets said.

The South Dakota FIRST Lego League has more than 80 teams atvarious schools across the state and still growing each year.

To get involved with FIRST Lego League or SD Robotics as a parent, coach or student, visit thefollowing link to the SD Robotics Association: http://southdakotarobotics.com/index.php

 

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