Manitoba

Murder victim's family launches drug-awareness foundation

A Winnipeg family whose son was murdered has turned a fundraiser in their son's memory into a foundation aimed at keeping children away from illegal drugs.

A Winnipeg family whose son was murdered has turned a fundraiser in his memory into a foundation aimed at keeping children away from illegal drugs.

Floyd Wiebe's son, T.J., 20, was murdered in 2003 after falling in with a crowd mixed up in the illegal drug trade. Two men were convicted of second-degree murder in the killing; a third was convicted of conspiracy to commit murder. A fourth man, who was a youth at the time of the killing, was acquitted.

This spring, Wiebe held a fundraiser to help pay for peer drug awareness programs in the Louis Riel School Division, where T.J. attended school.

"It's a pure education drug awareness, and it's for kids helping kids about the perils of drugs," he said.

"It's kids that get kids into drugs, and we figured, well, what better say is there for kids to help kids not to do drugs."

A gala fundraisingevent in May brought in $54,000— far more than Wiebe expected— prompting the family to create T.J.'s Gift Foundation to fund similar programs across the country.

"I think that we're going to raise that much again easily and go beyond," he said. "We're hoping this will go right across Canada," Wiebe said.

Wiebe says teens learning from teens is the best way to keep them away from drugs.

Next year's fundraiser is scheduled for May 13.

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