Rather than focus on the alleged nature of the crash that killed Jon Wood, his family has created a memorial fund in the hopes of helping more people like him make the right choices.
“There’s not a lot we can do to deal with drunk driving, but what we can do is make more responsible people like Jon, who took a cab,” Lori Church, Wood’s mother, said on Tuesday. Wood, 33, of Red Deer was killed in the early morning hours of Nov. 2.
He had played in a squash tournament and after a few beers with friends, he took a cab home.
He was a passenger in the rear seat of the cab when it was rear-ended by a truck driven by an alleged drunk driver.
Wood died at the scene, at 30th Avenue and 32nd Street in Red Deer.
The Jon Wood Memorial Fund aims to support programs that engage and develop youth.
Church said ever since Wood’s death they have had people ask them where they can donate.
Because the fund is in its infancy, they haven’t determined where specifically the money will go. But they have the general goal of supporting youth and encouraging them to become good people like Jon.
“We have a good understanding of what we want to do,” said Church.
“The things that need to happen for youth, get them engaged in sports and things that can bring out the passion and turn them into good people.”
People looking to contribute to the fund can find more information be visiting the Facebook page at www.facebook.com/celebratejon. As well, a website will go online soon at www.jonwoodmemorial.com.
“Jon knew that his decisions affected others and he also understood the consequences of bad decisions,” said Church in an email.
“He owned up to those. He did so from an early age. Jon was passionate about children and was a mentor and motivator to all his cousins, siblings, friends and colleagues.
“While we still have much to determine in terms of structure, we do know we will work towards developing more Jon Woods in the world.”
Sports will be a part of how this fund helps kids as it both reflects Wood’s passion and, as his uncle Travis Gangl said, is a good way to keep kids out of trouble.
“We thought we can’t fight drunk driving, that’s an uphill swim, and I don’t think that’s what Jon was about,” said Gangl. “We really just want to try to help causes that try to create more Jon Woods.”
Tyler James Wilson, 18, of Brooks faces charges of impaired driving and dangerous driving causing death. He will be in Red Deer provincial court today.