Mark Shyluk spoke to students gathered Tuesday morning at Prince Albert Collegiate Institute (PACI) where he was invited to speak for Impaired Driving Awareness Week.

Mark Shyluk described his aunt Linda as a happy, caring, fun-loving individual. He said she brought joy those around her and always put the world and its people first.

But that all changed when she was taken from him and his family in 2009. Linda was killed by a three-time convicted impaired driver. In an instant, he said, his life and his approach to work as a brewer changed.

Shyluk has worked in the brewing industry for over 30 years and is employed at Radouga Distilleries in Blaine Lake. The day his aunt died, he said he learned there were empty beer cans in the vehicle that struck her. Curious, he gathered and examined information from the scene from the RCMP. He zoomed in on a photo and saw the date code on the cans; he had made the beer.

“I made the bullet that killed my aunt,” Shyluk told students gathered Tuesday morning at Prince Albert Collegiate Institute (PACI), where he was invited to speak for Impaired Driving Awareness Week.

“When you make alcohol for a living and you realize you may have and did have a hand … in someone making a poor choice and getting behind the wheel of a vehicle, it really changes your life,” he said. “It forever changed me. My approach to the product I produce changed.”

Shyluck, while employed at Molson Coors in 2012, appeared on the program Undercover Boss Canada. He told the story of his aunt on the show and Molson Coors granted him funds to make a donation and presentation in his aunt's name to Arrive Alive and a Students Against Drunk Driving (SADD) group in Alberta. There, after meeting over 500 youths, he said he was compelled to continue speaking to young people about there perils of drinking and driving. 

“We feel, as manufacturers of alcohol, it is a duty and responsibility to discuss the consequences a poor choice can make,” he said, speaking to media after the event.

Shyluck said his prevention centred around telling students the cold, hard truths about impaired driving. He used real photos from accident scenes to convey his message.

Summer Ermine, a Grade 12 student at PACI and the president of the school's SADD group, said she has a family member who is serving time for impaired driving and injured others in the act.

“It was scary,” she said. “It is really important others know, so that in the future they can let others who are impaired not get into a vehicle. They could be saving them and others from hurting other people.”

She said having people like Shyluk tell first-hand accounts of their experiences is very important for students, as it moves the message from just statistics to a real-life situation.

Source: Prince Albert NOW


Last updated on: 2018-03-27 | Link to this post