Red Lion to ride to remember Kain Heiland, other deaths

Meredith Willse
York Dispatch

At 4 p.m. Sunday, a vehicle train will take off from Double Barrel Roadhouse to visit Kain Heiland’s favorite places in Red Lion, such as the high school and junior high. 

“He loved school,” said Matt Dorgan, who organized the event, explaining it will be a short ride through the community, maybe less than 10 miles, to remember the 12-year-old who was shot and killed April 1. 

Dorgan is also a founding member and president of Building Bridges for Brianna, a local group that works to prevent suicide in the community that began after Dorgan's 15-year-old daughter died by suicide in 2020. 

Organizers Dorgan and Mark Bauer ask those participating to decorate their vehicles — cars or motorcycles — in blue or teal for the cruise. Pennsylvania State Police will escort the riders. 

A memorial for Kain Heiland on High St. in Red Lion on Friday, Apr. 14, 2023. in Red Lion on Friday, Apr. 14, 2023.

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From noon until 4 p.m. that day, there will be food trucks, vendors, a race car to sit in and Nerf games at the Double Barrel Roadhouse, 3290 Cape Horn Road. The state police will also be there to share gun locks and gun safety information. 

This event is not just to remember Kain but also to bring attention to other Red Lion issues, such as suicide and bullying. The community has experienced suicides in recent years, including J. Carson Capik, a high school student who was found dead in February.

“My thing is here’s another family that lost their child just like me with Brianna, and I wanted to make sure I could help,” Dorgan explained. 

Dorgan added no family should have to bury their child, especially since all of these problems such as bullying could have been avoided. 

“Justice for Kain” is written on a balloon at a memorial for Kain Heiland, 12, during a candlelight vigil on 1st Avenue in Red Lion, Wednesday, April 5, 2023. Heiland died of a gunshot wound Saturday, April 1. Dawn J. Sagert photo

“Everything with Kain — that could have been avoided,” he said, explaining it is his mission to save one person and move to the next. 

When he lost his daughter to suicide, the community supported him. It’s right to help this family because it’s another child buried, he said. 

Dorgan said the event is to give back a little bit and help Kain’s family. All of the proceeds from this event are going straight to Kain’s family to pay for funeral costs, such as a headstone. 

The event is also meant to show people that it’s OK to not be OK, but it can’t stay that way and there are resources to help, he said. 

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Dorgan said this is for people to have a good time, remember Kain, remember the other issues and talk about them. 

“So we can all come together and be united as one,” he said. “That’s the only way to take care of these issues.”

Dorgan and Bauer decided to do a ride because they both enjoy the activity. A ride is also how they started Building Bridges for Brianna, and they continue that event each year. That ride will be 10 a.m. June 24 at Dallastown Area High School. This year they have over 120 vendors registered for the event. 

Pennsylvania State Police are still investigating Kain's death. No arrests have been made yet.

If you've experienced thoughts of suicide, confidential help is available for free through the Suicide & Crisis Lifeline by calling 988 in the United States. You can find more information

— Reach Meredith Willse at or on Twitter at @MeredithWillse.