Rupert Teen's Legacy Lives On Through Cousin
Boise, Idaho ( KBOI ) In the past five years, 330 people have died in Idaho as a result of drunk driving. One of those was Aimee Souza, 14, from Rupert.
This weekend marked the MADD Walk in Boise and the biggest fundraiser of this year's walk came from a member of Souza's family, her nine year old cousin.
Kembrie Souza says she's always heard about her cousin Aimee.
"Well I have a picture of her holding me so I'm pretty sure she liked to hold me and stuff," adds Kembrie.
But she was just a year old when Aimee was killed by riding in a car with a drunk driver.
Kembrie's mom, Kara Souza remembers a little better and she says she especially remembers when the man behind the wheel got a second DUI.
Kara says, "losing Aimee was bad...but then for no lesson to have been learned from that kind of hit harder for us, I mean it was just...yanno...her life was for nothing then...yanno what I'm saying? It just...after you take somebody's life you really should learn a lesson and change your behavior and he didn't and that was really tough....it was really tough."
Souza says she fought for tougher sentencing for that driver and a victim's MADD advocate was right by her side. It was very helpful to have somebody that would support me...so I wanted to give back to MADD."
She planned on participating in the Boise walk, but Kembrie wanted to do more. She set a goal to raise $500 in a yard sale for walk like MADD, in memory of her cousin. But people found out and started donating....and she had $700 before the yard sale even started.
"One day we were at the church and mom was like oh I forgot to tell you, you bet your goal and I was like whaaaaat are you talking about!"
After the yard sale....she had raised two thousand bucks, adds
That earned her special attention...she got this plaque for being the biggest contributor in this year's walk," adds Kembrie.
"So if Aimee were here, what do you think she would say, "I'm pretty sure that she'd say she thinks that....she thinks I'm doing a great thing."
"I know she's up there looking down on us...and with us...she was on that walk with us today, i know that for a fact....so umm..we miss her, but she would be really proud of all the effort Kembrie's put into and in her memory," explains Kara.
Kembrie says she doesn't know exactly how yet, but she does plan on helping Mothers Against Drunk Driving again next year.