Stories of profound loss and messages of hope were shared Sunday afternoon at the Laurel Packinghouse in Kelowna.
About 40 people gathered for the Candlelight Vigil of Hope and Remembrance, hosted by the Central Okanagan chapter of Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD).
The third annual ceremony was held to remember and honour those who have lost their lives or have been injured in an alcohol or drug-related crash, and to show support for survivors and family members.
The director of the vigil and MADD board member, Tina Harder, lost her nephew in a drunk driving accident in 2012.
“This is to honour our loved ones and to let people know that they are not alone,” Harder said of the vigil’s objective. “It’s really important that we do this every year to support each other and to raise awareness.
Impaired driving continues to be the No. 1 criminal cause of death in Canada.
An average the four Canadians are killed and 175 injured each day in accidents caused by impaired drivers.
“We need to get awareness out there, especially among high school kids,” Harder said. “If you can impress on them when they’re young like that, the dangers of impaired driving, then their habits will change. Their parents also need to be made aware so their kids will be safe.”