A local family plans to turn tragedy into a legacy of helping others by establishing a memorial fund in honor of a young man who died earlier this month in a car crash.
Brian and Cindy Hoeflinger set up the Brian N. Hoeflinger Memorial Fund through the Toledo Community Foundation in memory of their son, 18, an Ottawa Hills High School senior who died in a single-car crash Feb. 1.
The Hoeflingers said the memorial fund will provide money to Toledo-area projects and programs, with an emphasis on groups that assist young people determined to succeed and help others — qualities they said their son embodied.
“We decided that there’s so much … good will and empathy in the community that we knew we had to do something with it and not let it pass,” Dr. Brian Hoeflinger said.
As of Friday, about $25,000 had been raised following an outpouring of community support and donations made in the student’s name. The family wants to raise at least $100,000 to endow the fund in perpetuity and plans to seek input from others on how to distribute grants.
The Hoeflingers credited the help of friends, colleagues, and community members, who in recent weeks offered support, wrote checks, delivered meals, and arranged outings for the couple’s other children. That assistance helped them get to work quickly on setting up the memorial fund.
The first steps were to establish the fund through the Toledo Community Foundation, which will accept tax-deductible donations on behalf of the memorial fund, and to launch the Web site brianmatters.com. The site provides information and photos of the younger Mr. Hoeflinger and details about donating to the new fund.
Dr. Cindy Hoeflinger described her son as “very enthusiastic” and said he enjoyed bringing different groups of people together.
His parents said their son’s death spurred a sense of community spirit and a desire to assist others. That love and support also helped the family push through the recent difficult weeks.
Now they say they hope to capture that energy and channel it into helping others through the memorial fund. Also in the works is an annual golf tournament to raise money for the fund. Young Hoeflinger was an avid golfer who played on the varsity teams at Ottawa Hills and, before that, at St. John’s Jesuit High School.
Donations can be made by sending a check payable to the Brian N. Hoeflinger Memorial Fund and mailing it to the Toledo Community Foundation Inc., 300 Madison Ave., Suite 1300, Toledo, OH 43604.
Donors also can use a MasterCard or Visa credit card to make a gift, or get more information on making a stock donation, by calling the foundation at 419-241-5049.
To make a donation online, visit the foundation’s Web site at toledocf.org. Click on the link to the Online Giving Center and designate the fund’s name.
Contact Vanessa McCray at: [email protected] or 419-724-6065.