Family of van attack victim starts foundation to help end violence against women
Published Wednesday, December 5, 2018 2:24PM EST
The family of Anne Marie D’Amico, who was killed in Toronto’s van attack in April, is launching a foundation in her name.
Her father, Rocco, and brother, Nick, see the foundation as a homage to the 30-year-old humanitarian, who lost her life when a van plowed into pedestrians on a Yonge Street sidewalk on April 23.
The foundation began operating on Dec. 3, which would’ve been D’Amico’s 31st birthday.
“It’s in support of ending violence against women,” Nick D’Amico told CP24 on Wednesday.
“All the contributions and donations will be going toward the North York Women’s Shelter this year, for the HER Campaign. They’re building a state-of-the-art facility for survivors of violence – women and children.”
The family said the last seven months have been difficult, but that the foundation has given them a new sense of purpose, especially for Rocco.
“For me, this is a lifetime commitment. Being retired, I’ve decided to commit my whole life to this foundation,” he said.
“It gives us purpose, it helps us heal, it gives us something to keep her spirit going. So that’s what we plan to do.”
A website for the foundation is expected in January 2019.
The family hopes an annual event, held on her birthday, will be the pinnacle of their efforts.
“She’s that kind of person that was always out there,” her father said.
“To do something like this in her honour… it’s something that she would for someone else, in a big way.”
“She was the face of the tragedy for so many hours,” Nick D’Amico added.
“Now she can be the face of hope for so many women across the world and throughout the country.”
The man accused in the attack, 26-year-old Alek Minassian, is facing 10 charges of first-degree murder and 16 of attempted murder.
The case is set to go to trial in February 2020.