The Kyle W. Kiihnl Memorial Foundation was established in memory of Kyle, a Houston High School student from Germantown, TN. On May 5, 2002, a young driver fell asleep at his wheel and drifted onto a sidewalk where Kyle and his friend were walking. Kyle lost his life to a 17-year-old driver that fell asleep at the wheel.
Kyle started wrestling as a freshman at Houston when he weighed 98 pounds. He focused all of his attention on practicing and improved substantially by his sophomore year. Unfortunately, an injury at the beginning of his sophomore year kept Kyle from competing with his team. However, he continued to attend every practice and support his teammates. He competed his junior year and placed in his weight class in several competitions.
Kyle was a very intelligent, sensitive and funny guy. He had a dry sense of humor and would say the most unexpected things. He was an amazing older brother to his younger sister, who was only four years old when he died. Kyle was the most easy-going guy to ever walk the earth. He always saw the glass half-full and took all problems with a grain of salt. When he wasn’t wrestling, he enjoyed spending time on his computer, playing guitar, or working on his car.
After Kyle's death, the outpouring of support that his family received showed just how special Kyle was to many people. The Houston High School Wrestling Booster Club initiated a memorial scholarship fund in Kyle’s name to be given to the wrestler at Houston High School that “exceeded expectation”.
The memorial scholarship has been ongoing since 2002 presenting over 19 scholarships since its inception.
While our focus is on younger drivers, we have also made an effort to educate seasoned drivers. The foundation has hosted community meetings where we discuss drowsy driving signs, symptoms and the consequences.
We provide most of the high school seniors in Shelby county schools and local private schools the Drowsy Driving Information card. The card provides the warning signs of drowsy driving and strategies for dealing with the fatigue. In August of 2012, we were invited to place our Drowsy Driving Information card in all Tennessee Welcome centers getting the message out to even more drivers.
We have successfully partnered with the Tennessee Department of Highway Safety to display the "Please Don’t Drive Drowsy" message on Tennessee interstate overhead message boards. The Don’t Drive Drowsy message currently running in Memphis, Nashville, Chattanooga and Knoxville in rotation.
The GHSA (GOVERNORS Highway Safety Association) has recognized the KyLE W Kiihnl memorial foundation as a victim advocate, working in Tennessee as a critical partner in helping to educate the public about the danger and consequences of drowsy driving.
Due in part through our education efforts. the rate of drowsy driving fatalities has been reduced by 18% in Shelby county, TN, our home county.
We also support the National Sleep Foundation by making donations to their research on drowsy driving.
Contact Kathi for more information about Drowsy Driving at: 901-486-2984.
The foundation's main fund raising event is the Eye Opener 5K PJ Run/Walk. The money raised supports the foundation’s education programs and the scholarship funds.
Multi-tiered sponsorship opportunities are available.
We thank you for your support of the Kyle W. Kiihnl Memorial foundation. By contributing to this endeavor, you are helping raise awareness of the dangers of drowsy driving. AWARENESS SAVES LIVES!
Send us a check to donate to our Foundation. Mail your donation to: Kyle W Kiihnl Foundation, 1886 Penshurst drive, Collierville, TN 38017.
In November 2017, State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company endorsed the KWK Foundation. After a heartfelt interview, they published an article about Kyle and dangers of driving "D". All Dangerous -- Drunk, Drugged, Distracted, and DROWSY. To read more, use this link to view the article.