Prince Albert Now
June 18, 2019

A granite bench installed along the Rotary Trail by the riverbank holds special meaning for Karen Anthony-Burns. It’s where she’ll stop to rest while she walks her son’s dog and reflect on his life and others taken too soon because of alcohol-related crashes.

“We wanted to install this bench to give everyone who has been injured or has lost a family member a place to come,” she said.

Anthony-Burns is a director for Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) Prince Albert. She lost her son Daniel in 2010 when he was struck by a driver in an alcohol-related crash while crossing a street. She applied for a grant through MADD Canada indicating the group wanted to have a memorial in Prince Albert because the community ‘has been impacted so greatly by impaired driving.’

“We hope that everyone takes a moment to pause and reflect when they see the bench. And if we can do anything to encourage people to make the right choices when it comes to drinking and driving or impaired driving – please don’t get behind the wheel,” Anthony-Burns said.

The cost of the bench was covered by the grant and through fundraising efforts by MADD PA. It was designed and installed by Domremy Memorials and sits on the Rotary Trail in front of the Elks Hall at Eighth Avenue.

“We were really excited to have this placement of the bench in front of the Elks Hall. This is a busy area of the trail and also where we hold our annual Strides for Change walk,” she said.

The five-kilometer walk/run is a fundraiser for MADD Prince Albert that helps sponsor initiatives like the memorial bench and also support for victims and their families. It takes place on Aug. 25 at 2 p.m. and participants are encouraged to collect pledges prior to the event. A memorial tribute will also take place at that time and Anthony-Burns encouraged the public, not just those who have lost someone, to attend the event or visit the memorial bench.

“We walk here along the riverbank with Daniel’s dog, Buddy, a few times a week,” she said. “So we will walk by this bench often and absolutely we will sit here and reflect. Absolutely, we will.”