Friends of Rich Wolf, the cyclist hit and killed by a drunk driver last week on Century Drive, are taking action to raise awareness about the risks of impaired driving.
The campaign to stop drunk and drugged driving is in honor of both Wolf and Marika Stone, Bend residents who were killed while riding their bikes by intoxicated drivers.
An informal memorial made of flowers, water bottle and a small sign marks the spot on Century Drive where Wolf died.
A 19-year-old motorist is charged with drunk driving and manslaughter in the case.
“I felt like I had to do something,” said Karen Kenlan, a friend of Wolf’s. “I want to get the word out that this is not okay to keep happening. We’ve lost two teammates to drunk and impaired drivers.”
Kenlan launched a GoFundMe campaign to stop drunk and drugged driving.
In less than 24 hours, it raised nearly $3,000 that she will use to spread the word about real world losses drunk drivers are inflicting on Central Oregon.
“I personally know Rich and Marika,” she said. “I created a print campaign that’s going to run in The Bulletin this weekend.
“I focused on those two people that we’ve lost. It’s very personal. It shows a picture of both of them. They both left families behind. Everyone in this community knows about that and we all want to prevent it from happening again.”
Kenlan is working with Mothers Against Drunk Driving, an organization dedicated to ending drunk driving, supporting victims and preventing underage drinking.
“My idea currently is to make it personal and to show that Rich and Marika aren’t just statistics. They were friends. They were family. They were mothers and husbands and they are never coming back,” Kenlan added.
“I think when people see how easily it can hit home…. you don’t have to be a cyclist to be hit by a drunk driver. Anybody can be hit by a drunk driver and their lives are impacted forever.”
Kenlan placed the memorial along Century Drive in Rich Wolf’s memory.
She says she and other local cyclists will attend the arraignment of the 19-year-old charged with killing Wolf.