On Wednesday, Sept. 28, West Chester University student, Samantha Turner, and her family will be holding a fundraiser for David’s Drive 831 at Buffalo Wild Wings in Downingtown, in memory of Samantha’s brother, David Turner Jr. The fundraiser will run all day long with ten percent of a participant’s bill going toward the charity.
Samantha lost her brother suddenly on Dec. 16, 2009, at the age of 20 due to a suspected heart arrhythmia. David pulled into the driveway of his family home after a day of work at the Coatesville VA Medical Center. He parked his car and continued his conversation on his cell phone with his girlfriend. At approximately 5:45 p.m., Mrs. Turner pulled into the driveway and found David in his car, head down as if he was texting on his cell phone.
When Mrs. Turner became aware that David was not on his phone, she said, “I shook the car until I realized he was unresponsive and I yelled inside the house for help.” The doors of his car were locked and the engine was still running.
Samantha, 18-years old at the time, and Mr. Turner ran out to help. Samantha recalls, “We stood out there shaking his car, trying to wake him up, not even believing we were really shaking it… I’m not sure how long we shook the car but it seemed like a long time…”
At that point, Mr. Turner smashed the car window and they pulled David from the car. Mrs. Turner attempted CPR on him while Samantha ran into the house and called 911.
After the ambulance arrived they transported Samantha’s beloved brother and the Turner’s only son to Brandywine Hospital. At the hospital, the medical personnel pronounced David dead at 6:40 p.m.
In response to David’s death, the Turner family founded the public charity, David’s Drive 831. The charity benefits the lives of local hospitalized veterans in VA Medical Centers and people in the surrounding Chester County communities. David’s Drive 831 collects items such as clothing for men and women, including, underwear, socks and t-shirts, as well as personal hygiene items.
As David’s Drive 831 mission statement explains, the organization is “dedicated to fulfilling the needs of our veterans and the underprivileged in order to perpetuate the memory of David Brian Turner, Jr. by impacting people’s lives positively in his name.”
Not only is the Turner family making a positive impact within their community, they are doing it out of the strong love and affection they have for their lost loved one.
In the years to come, the Turner’s hope to see the organization continue to grow and maybe even expand its purpose. WCU student Samantha and her family continue to hold fundraisers such as this one to help their public charity and keep David’s memory alive.
Buffalo Wild Wings is located at 103 Quarry Road, Downingtown. For more information about this event visit www.davidsdrive831.org and click on the “Upcoming Events” link on the left-hand side of the page.
Hannah Burner is a fourth-year student majoring in English, minoring in journalism. She can be reached at HB674784@wcupa.edu.