• Bob Vlach, Woodford Sun Staff

Celebrating Seth’s life, his love of filmmaking


Creating the Seth Lance Memorial Scholarship Film Festival was a way for Angie and Joe Bill Lance to celebrate their son’s life, his love of the arts and his desire to help others. Knowing Seth wanted to pursue a career in filmmaking and the high cost of college to do so, his parents view awarding an annual $1,000 scholarship to a high school or college student as an avenue to help someone else chase that dream. “We’re trying to make his dreams come true through putting the film festival on because it’s something he would’ve loved if he were here. And it just keeps his spirit alive,” said Angie. She organized the upcoming film festival with her son’s friends, Hannah Campbell, and Jeffrey Ison and Jonah Rice, who created a YouTube channel with Seth, a 2016 graduate of Woodford County High School. Others who came to know Seth and his love of film helped to establish judging criteria and have agreed to serve as judges for the upcoming film festival, his mom said. “So it’s going to be really cool for all of his friends …, and us. It’s just going to be hard,” said Angie, on a leave of absence from her teaching job at Simmons Elementary School. A Go Fund Me account was established in Seth’s name by Teamsters Local Union 651 after he died in an automobile crash last Dec. 16 on his way to teach a special-needs Sunday school class. Joe Bill, a business agent for the Teamsters, asked his boss to tell the union’s 3,000 members to instead of sending flowers to start a GoFundMe page. They contributed the first $1,000 toward the scholarship fund benefiting a college or high school students who share Seth’s love of filmmaking. The first annual Seth Lance Memorial Scholarship Film Festival, a free event and dinner celebrating Seth’s life and his life’s passion, will be Saturday, July 13, at 5 p.m. in the Teamster union hall at 100 Bluesky Parkway in Lexington. To register a film (up to 12 minutes in length) and be eligible for the scholarship, contact Angie at angie.lance@ymail.com. Before her youngest son’s tragic death, Angie said they had talked about writing a children’s book from his perspective as the sibling of a brother with autism. “It was an idea that came to me when the boys were little,” she says of the book project. “It just weighed on me so much about the sacrifices that Seth was making.” Seth’s compassion for others was rooted in the sacrifices he made. Having a brother with autism taught him to celebrate and respect differences in people, and be “a beautiful person in every way,” said Angie. She often told Seth “God chose you” to be Nolan’s brother. And he made sacrifices whenever they were asked of him. “He ended up,” said Angie, “just being the most remarkable brother anybody could ever imagine,” before sharing a story. Seth wanted a puppy, but his brother Nolan had a fear of dogs. So when Seth wrote a letter to Santa Claus asking for a dog in the second grade, he came home “bawling his eyes out,” telling his mom, “I’ve done something horrible.” Another letter was written to Santa explaining why Seth couldn’t have a dog, Angie said. Finally, on her son’s 10th birthday, the family “figured out a way” to bring a puppy home without upsetting Nolan, recounted Joe Bill. “And that dog ended up saving our lives in so many ways,” said Angie. “… It was always Seth’s dog,” added Joe Bill, “but it slept by Noah’s bed every night.” Seth’s family recently adopted a golden retriever, and “we call her Liv – a reason to live,” said Angie. Remarkably, she said Liv (short for Olivia) has a birthmark in her hair – just like Seth had.

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