Drunk Driving Victims Remembered in Softball Tournament
Hundreds came out in support of a community-wide campaign against drunk driving. The organization, Crusaders Against Impaired Driving held its annual fundraiser Saturday.
As YNN's Kate McGowan explains, families who have lost a loved in a drunk driving accident joined together, showing their love and support for one another, and also their talents on the baseball field.
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WEST SENECA, N.Y. -- They may not be pro softball players, or even competitive on the field.
But they came together to Sunshine Park in West Seneca. Once strangers, who now share a common bond.
"And it's not a family we want to be a part of but unfortunately we are all a part of that family now," said Deanna Russo.
Each story is different. But the pain is very similar.
These families have all lost someone due to the actions of a drunk driver.
"She'll never be able to give them hugs, she'll never be able to tell them a story. And it's all because of a drunk driver," Russo said.
Russo lost her younger sister, Karen fourteen years ago. Russo started the local organization, Crusade Against Impaired Driving, CAID.
She wanted to form a support group and help all of those suffering.
"It's one of the most difficult things I've ever to live with. I don't think there will be anything that will hurt me more, than losing my grandson," Jane Buccholz said.
The families who have lost a loved one to drunk driving say it doesn't get easier with time. But they do say it's encouraging that other families are dealing with the same pain they have had to deal with.
Buccholz said, "It lifts my spirit to know that these things are out here in the community."
What Buccholz will remember most about her grandson, Bryce is his infectious smile, and love for life. Bryce was hit and killed while he rode his bike home along Lake Avenue in Lancaster in May.
"I'll just miss him, I'll miss him because he was a total delight to me, he really was," she said.
And Richard Rice feels the same way.
He lost his only daughter, Alix. A life with so much potential cut short at the age of 18.
"I'm very proud to be able to support this organization, it's just very sad to be under this auspices. We're all being dragged into a fraternity that we don't to belong to. Nobody wants to, but sadly here we are so we're trying to make the best of it. Trying to turn a very tragic situation into a positive," he said.
Alix, Bryce, and Karen. Among the names and faces that have made local headlines.
Their families are not only fighting to make sure they're not forgotten. They're also fighting for a greater message.
"Think before you drink. That's CAID's message," Russo said.
If you would like to help with the CAID efforts, you can visit here