MIDDLETOWN, Pa. – Penn State Harrisburg will do its part to help promote safe driving when the school holds an "Orange 4 Owen" event during its men's and women's basketball doubleheader against Capital Athletic Conference (CAC) opponent Christopher Newport on Saturday, Jan. 11. The athletic department will provide free t-shirts to the first 500 fans courtesy of the Brenner Family Dealerships in addition to raffling off a pair of "Beats by Dre" headphones.
On March 17, 2011, 8-year old Owen Brezitski was killed by a distracted driver while crossing the street with his family at a pedestrian crosswalk in front of Bishop McDevitt High School following his sisters' band concert that evening. The teenage driver, traveling about ten miles over the posted speed limit, was distracted by music on her cell phone and a conversation she was having with a passenger when she failed to notice the pedestrian-filled crosswalk and struck Owen.
"It's the lost potential that bothers me the most," said Karen Brezitski, Owen's mother, nearly a year after his tragic death. "He was going to be something. He was so loved and so talented. He was special – nothing will ever be the same."
Karen, her husband, Mark, and their two daughters, Makenna and Kyla, honored Owen by raising money for special blinking LED crosswalk signs that now stand in front of Bishop McDevitt. They have established a nonprofit foundation, "Owen's Foundation," and they continue to honor his memory by decorating their home with his artwork and favorite color – orange.
Penn State Harrisburg will do its part to highlight and extend the Brezitski family's message and to honor Owen on Saturday afternoon. Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for Americans ages 8-35 and teens are four times as likely to crash as older drivers. Through their efforts, the Lions and those affiliated with the university hope to promote change and spread the word that by eliminating distractions behind the wheel, lives will be saved.
Penn State Harrisburg's women's basketball team takes on Christopher Newport at 1 p.m. The men tip-off immediately following the ladies' contest.
Owen's Foundation is a charitable fund of The Foundation for Enhancing Communities (TFEC). Orange 4 Owen is a project of TFEC, fiscal sponsor. The official registration and financial information of TFEC may be obtained from the PA Department of State by calling toll-free, within PA, 1-800-732-0999. Registration does not imply endorsement.
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