Brian Matters: Underage Drinking/Drug Prevention Organization
As you may know, Cindy and I lost our precious son, Brian, at age 18 in a sudden tragic car accident on February 2, 2013. The phone call we received early that morning is a phone call every parent hopes they never receive. It is not something that you can prepare for and certainly is not something you can hide from. The days to come after Brian’s death were filled with pain and anguish we have never experienced before but we were also beginning to feel a glimmer of hope. Friends and family were immediately at our doorstep to help in any way they could. I imagine it’s a feeling of helplessness and an overwhelming desire to ease the pain and suffering of others. We have felt this pain firsthand and it has changed Cindy, my children Kevin, Julie, Christie and my life forever. As time has passed and Brian is now buried, Cindy and I feel a renewed vibrant positive energy which has been bestowed upon us by the community and all of you! Only through the experience of our son’s death have we come to realize the compassion and overwhelming sense of goodness that all people have within themselves to help transform an unfathomable tragedy into a state of hope.
Everyone who knew Brian says he was an inspiring, respectful, happy young man, full of life and looking forward to the future in so many ways. Smart, positive, funny and kind-hearted are all words that come up again and again when people describe him. Those of you who knew Brian know of his character and accomplishments. Brian was a great role model athletically, academically and spiritually to many people he knew. He carried a 4.5 GPA at school and was an accomplished golfer. In looking through his personal journals after his death, we found he prayed three times a day, in the morning, at lunchtime and before he went to bed. Brian was an extremely positive person who genuinely cared about people and how they felt. As a leader, he led by example and character. His determination, integrity and enthusiasm in life were palpable. One of Brian’s last achievements was recently realized when we received his acceptance letter to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill shortly after his death. UNC Chapel Hill was his top college pick at the time of his death.
Only in death do we realize just how many lives one individual can touch in such a short lifetime and in such a positive way! We are now realizing that Brian’s death was not in vain because so much good and hope have been instilled in so many people he knew. As parents and as a family, we hope to bring meaning and benefit to a senseless tragedy that can never make sense, which has brought us to the focus of memorializing our son for the betterment of others. My wife and I have been given this opportunity to make good come from the death of our son. We have created a charitable fund in memory of Brian. The Brian N. Hoeflinger Memorial Fund is intended to benefit organizations, programs and projects that reflect Brian’s life passions and determination to succeed as well as encompass his continual desire to help and comfort others. Our hope is that these grants would touch the lives of others in a positive direction as did Brian N. Hoeflinger. All donations to Brian’s fund are for a charitable cause and are 100% tax deductible. Our goal is to sustain the fund into perpetuity.
Brian recently wrote a paper for school called, “Message in a Bottle”. The paper was to reflect to someone else what he learned in life thus far. The final line of his paper read, “Even the smallest of accomplishments is greatly appreciated in the eyes of a positive person because it is another step in the right direction”. That is how my son Brian lived his life and that is how we hope his legacy will always be remembered.