Thirteen years ago Karen and Floyd Wiebe received the worst news any parents could get. Their son, TJ, had been murdered. TJ was a young man with much promise and a career ahead of him but made the bad life decisions too many young people make by getting involved in the drug trade. He sold and used drugs and the choices he made eventually led to his violent death. Instead of allowing this tragedy to destroy them, the Wiebes turned it into a cause. The goal was to educate young people and keep as many away from drugs as possible. They created TJ’s Gift, perhaps a peculiar name for a foundation based on a homicide but last night the tenth annual TJ’s Gift Foundation fundraising dinner was held at Canad Inn Polo Park and the room was packed. There was a moving tribute to Floyd, who passed away this past year. Karen soldiers on without her son and her husband. She refuses to accept defeat and will not allow the losses in her personal life to derail the cause.
There were people from a variety of backgrounds and occupations in attendance, showing how many lives have been touched by TJ’s Gift. From young high schoolers who had head Floyd speak and received the message, to politicians of all stripes, to MC Mike McIntyre.
It was a special night in support of a worthy foundation which is devoted to saving the lives of our young people. Congratulations to all those involved and a special nod of appreciation and admiration to Karen Wiebe, who is a remarkable woman. Strong, resilient and determined she carries on bravely in the face of a sadness that would have defeated many of us.