Aug 25, 2012 - WESTCOAST - BKT/MADD FUNDRAISER UPDATE - submitted by Ann Mariner (Mission BC)

Today I was scheduled to be at the Mission Raceway. Unfortunately due to my health I had to quickly change venues and spent the day at the Junction Save On Foods. It was another beautiful summer day here out at the West Coast under the blue skies as we enjoyed 30 degree temperature. I had the most beautiful view of Mt. Baker (WA,USA).

As with my first experience at Save On Foods I found people approaching us on their own. So many were so appreciative to see MADD Canada in the community and thanked us for our presence. We shared with people our experience of what brought us together with MADD. The tragic loss of BKT and how I was doing this in memory of them, selling my photo cards & collages to donate the proceeds to MADD Canada. I then introduced them to Families for Justice and in doing so I spoke of Kassandra Kaulius and of her death by an impaired driver. I pointed out how her mother is the founder of this organization and how she it working hard to get this petition to the Federal Government. I presented to them that in my opinion, it is sad that a mother should have to file a petition for a law that should have been changed long ago. It was very easy to have them sign the petition and they were in total agreement to have the criminal code amended.

It is interesting when you meet the public you are subjected to their opinions be it good or bad and need to know how to conduct yourself in the proper manner.

I met a lady today who worked for the prisons as a Corrections Guard. When she asked what the petition was for, I offered her the information. Her reply to me very candidly was "serving jail time is not the answer, these people will have problems, when they are incarcerated that will only lead to other problems when they come out, like drugs".

I did not reply for a second for my brain to register what she had just said to me. CAN YOU IMAGINE???



What I did say to her very politely was - This is not a forum to discuss those issues, clearly you would not want to sign this petition and I thank you for your time.

When she left I sat down reflecting for a moment, knowing I was going to write about this. Knowing she had a different perspective was it a valid one?

No, not even for a minute! Had she lost a loved one to form this opinion? I think not! These are her buddies whom she has bonded with, whom she feels sorry for.

Come sit with my family members. Read their posts. Grieve with them. Mourn their loss of their child. See how their lives have been forever changed. Your inmate is still alive locked up in a cell. Knowing our judicial system soon to be released. He is probably not even the one facing the time for impaired driving as they hardly seem to see the inside of a cell!

Then I met a father today with his two young children who approached me. He wanted to introduce his two children to a MADD volunteer. He showed the children the MADD Memorial Banner and told me that he was going to explain it to them when he got home. I asked the children if they would like to have a few MADD ribbons and in excitement they jumped up and down shouting "yeah ribbons".

I noticed Dad was a little teary eyed and I asked if he was okay. He apologized and said "I am sorry but when I see someone from MADD it just makes me remember back to 20 years ago to our graduation in Prince George". He then proceeded to tell me how he had not attended his after grad but had received a phone call from his friends telling him how one of their friends got drunk and killed another person as well as himself with his vehicle. His other friends had called him to say they were at the scene and had seen the friend being taken out of the car and stayed to watch the car being hauled away.

This man just started to sob in front of me and his children. I came around offered him tissue and just held his hand and said to his children it's okay, Dad just needs a moment, he will be okay. The children, went from being happy to just staring at me and their father! Dad couldn't believe that after 20 years, he still would get emotional. He said it still upsets him as it was so out of character for his friend to have gotten drunk and to have done this. No rhyme or reason.

All I could offer him was that sometimes people get caught up in the moment and he made the wrong choice and that it was so unfortunate. He thanked me and apologized and gave me a complete stranger a big hug! I thanked him for sharing his story with me, it meant a lot to me! It was certainly something to share with his children when they were old enough to understand.

It is amazing how strangers can come together in a blink of an eye. This man immediately connected positively and emotionally with the MADD signs. I don't think I will ever forget today's experience in helping this man deal with his emotions in front of his children.

I believe we meet and cross paths with people for a reason. Be it good or bad. We take from these experiences what we feel we need in order to grow and to become a better person. My encounters with negative people and their comments have made me the wiser, and have given me a new dimension of questioning and of trust.

The people that have influenced my life in a positive way such as Olga, Tristan and the father I have met today each one of them has given me a very special gift that is indescribable in words. Their emotions take a place inside my heart and my mind. I feel these experiences with them when they articulate in words their emotions that they have experienced that have changed their lives and have shared them with me a complete stranger. I feel humbled and privileged by that.

It was a successful day by many counts at the end of the day we added more signatures to our Families for Justice petition. I now have $226.00 towards MADD Canada to donate and that is still growing. I have raised $22.50 for the MADD Metro Vancouver Chapter. I have succeed in bringing awareness to BKT Memorial, MADD Canada and Families for Justice to our Mission Community.

I would like to thank Starbucks at the Junction in Mission for keeping us hydrated today. Dean - Manager, Save On Foods, Laura, Mission Raceway, Graeme Laurie, Manager Photo Lab, Super Store - Mission, Floral Dept, Safeway, Tracy Crawford, MADD Canada Metro Vancouver Chapter, Markita Kaulius-Families For Justice, Suburban Printers-Leduc

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Last updated on: 2012-09-10 | Link to this post