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 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. It’s an idea organized by Kaden McKenzie, Tyler Rickman, Josh Nelson, Calvin Vosbrugh, and Hunter Burket, of Sooke.

Participants will gather at 8 a.m. to express their support and grief through their participation in the drive that plans to depart at 9 a.m.

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

Claremont Spartans win the inaugural Senior Girls’ AAAA Basketball Island Championship

Claremont Spartans win their Feb. 15 game agains the Royal Bay Ravens 71 - 64

Nainamo grew faster than Greater Victoria in 2019

Other Vancouver Island communities also recorded growth, but at lower rates

Sidney faces rising capital costs around RCMP building

Town staff expect RCMP model to remain ‘cost effective’ option

Campus View Elementary undergoes $4.2 million in seismic upgrades

Campus View Elementary undergoes significant seismic upgrades

Sidney company tastes sweet success with sugar kelp

Cascadia Seaweed is experiencing rapid growth after launching six months ago

VIDEO: Minister reports ‘modest progress’ after blockade talks with First Nation

Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs say Coastal GasLink does not have authority to go through their lands

Henrique scores 2 as Ducks soar past Canucks 5-1

Vancouver tumbles out of top spot in Pacific Division

Trudeau cancels Caribbean trip amid pipeline protests across Canada

Protests against Coastal GasLink have disrupted rail service

B.C. VIEWS: Inaction on pipeline protests not a viable response

Columnist Frank Bucholtz on how the Coastal GasLink pipeline dispute got so bad

PHOTOS: Top 10 memories of the 2010 Olympics

Black Press Media’s Jenna Hauck, shares some of her most memorable images of 2010 Winter Games

#FoxForFiver: Support grows in B.C. to put Terry Fox on new $5 bill

Terry Fox’ Marathon of Hope raised money for cancer research

Trudeau confers with cabinet ministers as rail blockades continue

The Trudeau government has been criticized for not doing more to end the blockades

Canadian nurses’ unions warn national standards for coronavirus protection too low

President says safety protocols nationwide are inadequate compared to those in Ontario and other countries

Most Read