A lot has changed over the last year.
May 8 is the one-year anniversary of the death of 20-year-old Brant Holenstein who was killed in a farm accident in Quick.
The outpouring of support for Brant’s family was tremendous and immediate. The young man made a real impact on the people he came in contact with and those people rallied to remember him.
And that has continued. Parents Guido and Tanya still spend a lot of time with his friends and they continue to keep in touch with people through the memorial Facebook page set up for him.
Brant was a talented snowboarder and all-around outdoorsman. Well thought of as a generous, kind, always-smiling young man, Brant was known to give his old gear to someone he thought needed it more than he did.
In this spirit, Brant’s friends and family started Boarding for Brant, a non-profit organization that helps youth achieve their sporting dreams.
“Boarding for Brant is our way of grieving,” Guido said. “It keeps people thinking about our boy. It’s not to be do-gooders, it’s doing what he always did, in a more organized way.”
Part of the challenge has been to find those in need, said Boarding for Brant board member and family friend Jason Krauskopf.
“We don’t always have the knowledge of who has the greatest need,” Krauskopf said. “We’re relying on people to let us know.”
Despite the challenges, it’s been a very busy year for B4B.
Guido and Jason have been spreading the word about Brant and his love for family and outdoor pursuits at schools and at events such as the organization’s main fundraiser, Trix in the Stix.
Through t-shirt, sticker and toque sales and donations, about $14,000 has been raised that will go to Bulkley Valley youth and with the support of friends and community members, a rail on the terrain park was named in Brant’s memory.
“Among the many things that have been done this winter, such as the toques and helmets given away, a highlight was sending a couple kids to Tim Hortons Kids Camp, who would not have normally gone,” Guido said. “Their response and passion was so touching.”
Being involved with B4B has helped the family heal, he said.
“It makes me feel pretty proud. We’d like to take this all away and have Brant back but it’s pretty amazing to see the effect Brant had on people.
“I’m still meeting people he touched. It really is amazing the friendships we’ve found through this.”
Krauskopf said being involved with B4B has kept Brant’s memory alive.
“We talk about him almost every day, so it’s healing in that way,” he said.
“To see those little kids talking about Brant and to be helping out kids. It makes it almost feel like it hasn’t gone to waste, his passing away. Let’s get a message out of this and do some good with it.
“He’s still around.”
For more, go to the Boarding for Brant Facebook page or call Jason Krauskopf at 250-877-9763.