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This article was published 27/4/2016 (1492 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
The local chapter of Mothers Against Drunk Driving is in the final fundraising stages for a monument honouring Manitobans killed by impaired drivers.
The plan is to unveil the memorial, complete with the names of every Manitoba victim of impaired driving etched into it, at the Glen Eden Memorial Gardens on north Main Street on Aug. 28.
Wayne Bodnarchuk, treasurer of the local MADD chapter, said it has raised $17,000, thanks in part to a donation from the Winnipeg Foundation, but the total cost is expected to be north of $20,000.
"We’re looking for people to give us names (of friends and family who have been killed) and the authorization to put their names (on the monument). It could be 10 years ago, 50 years ago or 100 years ago. We just need documentation to prove that impairment was involved, otherwise, we’d just be putting names on a rock," he said.
Alison Gilbert, whose daughter, Amy, was killed by a suspected drunk driver in downtown Winnipeg two years ago, believes the monument is an excellent idea. Amy Gilbert was just 23 years old.
"All we really want is for our kids to be remembered. We don’t want them to be forgotten. (The monument) will hopefully be a reminder to anybody looking at it that there are a lot of names on it and that drinking and driving is not okay," she said.
Bailey Wall, Amy Gilbert’s sister, said it’s "unfathomable" how many names could be engraved on the monument.
"When you tell people that drinking and driving is the No. 1 criminal cause of death in Canada, they don’t believe it," Wall said.
"The impact it has on a family can’t be put into words because your whole life changes. Everything you were living up to then was one thing but now you’re on a different path. You wouldn’t understand it unless you’d been through it," she said.
Bodnarchuk was quick to note four people are killed in crashes involving impaired drivers in Canada every day while another 175 are injured. In Manitoba, one person is killed in a crash involving an impaired driver every 12 days — which is up from one every seven days — so he believes MADD has made a little bit of difference.
"It’s still too many," he said.
Bodnarchuk’s nephew, Brett Yasinsky, was just 23 when he was killed after an impaired driver ran a red light at Grassmere Road and McPhillips Street on Nov. 10, 2010. Yasinsky was on his way to pick up his girlfriend to go to a movie.
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