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 drive 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

Just Posted

Wildfire smoke expected to blanket Greater Victoria again

Conditions expected to worsen Wednesday afternoon but not approach levels reached a few weeks ago

Former Victoria Royals manager celebrates Stanley Cup win

Grant Armstrong is now an amateur scout with Tampa Bay Lightning

PHOTOS: Killer whales make rare visit into Ladysmith Harbour

Orca pod inspires some fine photography

Tofino considers beach fire ban after tumultuous summer

Fires popping up where they aren’t allowed, and not properly cared for where they are

Editorial: Shake of the fatigue and bring this pandemic march home

With the finish line getting closer, don’t let up in the battle against COVID-19

105 new COVID-19 cases, 1 death as health officials urge B.C. to remember safety protocols

There are currently 1268 active cases, with 3,337 people under public health monitoring

U.S. Presidential Debate Takeaways: An acrid tone from the opening minute

Here are key takeaways from the first of three scheduled presidential debates before Election Day on Nov. 3

Sooke, Sidney businesses win top awards during the BC Food and Beverage Awards

Sheringham Distillery won Gold Award for Product of Year while Cascadia Seaweed won Innovation Award

Chorus expands online options to in-person rehearsal in Langford, Oak Bay

Free, non-auditioned SingYourJoy recruits those aged 16 to 29

Nanaimo’s new NightOwls baseball team announces first player signings

Four NCAA Div. 1 players, three of them Canadians, added to roster

Bucket list: Mid-Island set to come alive with special drumming

Pair of programs scheduled to take place starting October

B.C. nurses report rise in depression, anxiety, exhaustion due to pandemic

A new UBC study looks into how the COVID-19 response has impacted frontline nurses

National child-care plan could help Canada rebound from COVID-induced economic crisis: prof

A $2 billion investment this year could help parents during second wave of pandemic

Search suspended for Indigenous elder last seen mushroom picking in northwest B.C.

Mushroom picker Thomas (Tommy) Dennis has been missing since Sept. 16

Most Read