Cory Mills, Eric Blackmore and A.J. Jenson went missing in Sooke on Friday night. Now the community is showing its support to the community. (Black Press Media)

Sooke rallies to show its support in the wake of tragic deaths

Fund raising efforts, scholarships and meal trains have all been launched

In the wake of a tragedy that rocked Sooke, the community is coming together to show support for the families of the three young men who lost their lives on Friday night.

The men died when the pickup truck they were riding in was engulfed in water during unprecedented flooding near the lower parking lot of the Sooke Potholes.

It’s believed the men travelled to the spot late Friday night to see the high water and were swept into the Sooke River.

RELATED: Story emerges

A GoFundMe page has been established to help address the financial burden facing the three families, and by Wednesday morning about $20,000 was raised.

Lesley Baker, who launched the page, is also organizing a bottle drive on March 14.

The funds raised by the bottle will establish a scholarship for Edward Milne Community School students in the names of Cory Mills, Eric Blackmore and Anthony (A.J.) Jensen, the three men who lost their lives in the accident.

Another fundraising effort, organized by Mike Price of Sooke will take place Feb. 15 when residents will gather at Langford’s Westshore Town Center for a Cruise for a Cause, a drive along the Port Renfrew loop.

Participants will gather at 9 a.m. to express their support and grief through their participation in the drive. Stickers and other material will be for sale and donations for the families of the lost men will also be taken.

Another initiative, organized by Sooke resident Kristel Blank , is a Meal Train. The intent is to help relieve some of the stress being felt by the families by providing the meals that they will require in the days ahead. Although the dates for providing meals were quickly filled, there is still the possibility of donating a gift card to the families.

“The level of community support has been just amazing. When we were organizing the search there were 120 people there at 6:30 a.m. and that numbers grew to over 300. It just shows the kind of community we have,” Eric Blackmore’s father, William McInnes said.

“I was told about one elderly man, walking with a cane, who was walking down West Coast Road, trying to do what he could. That’s the kind of community Sooke is.”

McInnis said the community continues to be supportive now and that those efforts are helping the families cope with the tragedy.

His feelings were echoed by Jodie Gunter, a close friend of A.J. Jensen’s family.

“Everyone did the best they could and continue to do what they can after this happened. That’s the kind of community we live in,” Gunter said.



mailto:tim.collins@sookenewsmirror.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

DeathfundraisingSooke

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Arrowvale Farm near Port Alberni hosts maple syrup fest

Taste west coast maple syrup on Leap Year Saturday and watch demonstrations too

ACRD urges B.C. gov’t to upgrade Bamfield Road in wake of winter storm

ACRD board to write letter to Premier John Horgan, expressing urgency

More businesses in Port Alberni need a voice at city council, says one Uptown owner

Business owner says all businesses in the Alberni Valley need a louder voice

Port Alberni finishes strong in men’s bonspiel

Home teams make it to the finals at Alberni Valley Curling Club’s Men’s Open Bonspiel

Beaver Creek rehab centre obtains lawyer over objections to proposed pot facility

Kackaamin says ACRD could stop Premium Med’s application with bylaw change

RCMP reach deal to end police patrols of Wet’suwet’en lands as pipeline work pauses

Withdrawal opens door for talks today between hereditary chiefs, province and federal gov

Explicit Greta sticker linked to Alberta company draws outrage

The sticker includes the logo of Red Deer-based X-Site Energy Services

Share Now, formerly Car2Go, leaves Canada with valuable data in changing market: expert

Vancouver was its largest market in North America, with more than 300,000 customers

Off-duty RCMP officer helps catch Cache Creek car thief

‘This is just one example of how we are always ready to respond to emergencies’

What’s happening: Coronavirus forges on, as world hunts solutions

Japan closes all elementary, middle and high schools until spring holidays in late March

RCMP to stop providing security for Prince Harry and Meghan

Public safety minister says RCMP has been helping UK police intermittently since November

Should you shave your beard to stop COVID-19? The U.S. CDC has a guide

Facial hair could be a big no-no if COVID-19 reaches pandemic status

First arrests made at BC Legislature after Wet’suwet’en supporters spray chalk on property

Legislature security arrested two people, allegedly for mischief

Canada’s 13th coronavirus case confirmed as husband of 12th patient

More than 81,000 cases of COVID-19 have occurred since the virus emerged in China

Most Read