On July 3, 2011, while returning to their home in Houston, Texas, from an annual family road trip to Colorado, the Berry family found themselves victims of a tragic, fatal car accident.
The Berry family’s minivan, carrying parents Joshua and Robin Berry and their children — Peter, 9, Aaron, 8, and Willa, 6 — was hit head on by another vehicle that had crossed into their lane of traffic. The parents, Joshua and Robin Berry, were killed leaving the three children behind. While the children did survive the crash, both boys sustained serious spinal cord injuries and they are both paralyzed below the waist.
This story touched many lives in the Houston community and throughout the nation, including Western Security Surplus’ President Kyle Stevens. But for Stevens, the tragedy was personal.
Stevens didn’t know the Berry family but had many friends and family members who did.
“We have a lot of friends and family that were good friends with Josh and Robin Berry,” Stevens said. “The story just struck home for me.”
When Stevens was just 10 years old his family was also involved in a bad car accident that left his mother seriously injured.
“This could happen to any of us,” Stevens said. “I have young kids too. And now two of the three Berry kids are seriously injured. I just felt obligated to try and do something; to raise awareness about the family and raise some funds for the kids.”
Stevens, along with the help of many insurance industry partners, is doing just that.
Stevens helped organized a fundraising event — The Berry Family 5K, 1M Family Fun Run and 50 yard dash — to be held on March 24, 2012, at Granite Park in Plano, Texas.
“With the generous support of our sponsors, we expect that 100 percent of the proceeds generated by participants will be donated directly to the Joshua and Robin Berry Children’s Trust in Houston, Texas, to support Peter, Aaron and Willa Berry during their ongoing recovery,” Stevens said.
Stevens hopes to attract 1,000 competitors, walkers and supporters for the event. So far, the event organizers are well on their way to meeting that goal.
Stevens has already generated support from the insurance industry, including sponsorships from his own firm Western Security Surplus, Markel, Insurance Journal and even the employees of Nautilus Insurance Co.
The Berry children are in need of tremendous support to fund medical rehabilitation, physical therapy, psychological support and education, Steven says.
“Anyway that people can get involved helps us raise money,” he says. Stevens wants to spread the word among the insurance industry. “There’s a lot of people, especially in Texas, that might want to participate and/or volunteer, sponsor or get involved somehow.”
To find out more, or to donate to the Berry Family 5K event, visit: www.berryfamily5k.org.
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