About OADD
Founder Profile
Tim Abernethy
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Orillia Against Drunk Driving (OADD) is an non-profit organization dedicated in the work to reduce and eliminate drinking and driving in the province of Ontario We recognize the importance of public awareness campaigns and have been developing and promoting several programs since the organization was founded in November 1994.

Reflections and Looking back
by Doug Abernethy
founder OADD

I founded Orillia Against Drunk Driving in memory of my brother Tim who was 15 years old when a drunk driver killed him on May 15th 1981.

One of my favourite songs by Gordon Lightfoot, "If I Could Read Your Mind." I sometimes wonder what my mind would contain. What moments would I find worthy of forever storing? What moments would I remove? All of life's events, whether good or bad, have made me what I am today. The happy times as well as the extremely sad times. Time is a quantity of which we never seem to have enough. Some aspects of time drag on seemingly forever, while others fade quickly away.

As I approach the Thirtieth anniversary of the death of my brother, I see it as a time of reflection and looking back. It only takes an instant to reflect and look back to that date when I was told by a Doctor and a Chaplin in the trauma unit at Sunnybrook Hospital while I was laying on a stretcher, that my 15-year-old brother was dead. This was the moment in my life when time stood still. That was the moment I wondered whether or not my life could go on. My logical side knew that life would continue, while my emotional side could not think about living again. The journey through grief has been a long one.

I founded Orillia Against Drunk Driving in November 1994 in memory of my brother Tim and that has helped give me hope and purpose.  My hope and purpose is that I can help prevent any more deaths and injuries from occurring at the hands of drunk drivers, that will prevent any more families from suffering the consequences of drunk drivers through my involvement with Orillia Against Drunk Driving.

There are times I wish that there was a calendar with a magic date circled in gold that would mark the end of the grief and a return to life prior to our victimization. However, there is no magic calendar and life is never the same as before, however, I do have life, and my life can be meaningful.  Orillia Against Drunk Driving helped me fill my calendar with purpose. Through my dedication to the mission, some semblance of meaning was restored to my life.

Many times I heard, "It's time you got over this." Anyone who has been victimized by crime knows that you never "get over" it, or the loss. Working through grief is difficult. It is emotionally and physically draining; you try to go forward and hopefully put forth a positive effort to make sense of the tragedy.

There was a time when I thought I would never laugh again, but one day I tried to put myself in my brother's place. If I had been killed in the crash, how would I want my family to react? Would I want them to enjoy life? The answer was clear. I would want them to laugh and love and do all they could to make my death not to have been in vain. I vowed that I would do everything I could to make Tim's life worthwhile and prevent his death from being a mere statistic.

Thirty years - some days it seems like lifetime and other days it seems like only yesterday. As I approach the thirtieth anniversary of my brother's death, I am amazed of what I have accomplished through Orillia Against Drunk Driving. I did everything possible to prevent tragedy from occurring again. My family, and the community were worth the fight.

Because of the tragedy that devastated my family, I hope the efforts in the war on drunk driving will ensure a safer future for all.

Thank you for the memories and support.


Last up dated July 23,2014

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