Cathy Fournier spent her day off hard at work, volunteering at a St. Albans blood drive. It is the latest project for this bank employee from Swanton who's become an outspoken advocate. "I'm not understanding why we can't make better laws to protect our families," she said.
Fournier lost her son, Nick, in 2007. He was just 18-years-old, a passenger in a car driving on Interstate 89 in Colchester, when another driver got on the highway going in the wrong direction, colliding with the teens. Shawn Burritt was drunk, with prior DUI convictions on his record.
Burritt was sentenced to 10 years' jail time, but his victim's mother lobbies for stricter controls over deadly drunk drivers. She's also carrying on one of her child's missions: promoting blood donation.
Monday was the third annual Franklin County blood drive in memory of Nick Fournier, with a collection goal of 200 units. "He was so proud when he got his donor card in the mail. He just wanted to do it," Fournier remembered. "As heartbreaking as it is for us as a family, it's heartwarming knowing there are so many young kids and people in the community who came to donate blood in his memory."
This support comes at a critical time for the American Red Cross. The need for blood tends to rise in the summer, as the number of donors tends to dip. "We really didn't know what to expect, it being July 5 and a 90-plus degree day. But as you can see, it's certainly very busy," said Melanie Nattress, a registered nurse with the American Red Cross.
After failing blood iron tests the past two years, Cathy Fournier was hoping she could give blood this year. She passed the check and donated. Her son once asked her to help out at his high school blood drive. "So I'm actually very pleased. I feel good about it," Fournier said.
After Nick Fournier's senseless death, his mom is proud to be part of the gift of life.
Friday, April 18 2014 12:04 AM EDT2014-04-18 04:04:40 GMT
A Putney man was taken to the hospital after police say he was run over in a driveway. It happened this afternoon on Kimball Hill Road. Investigators say 63-year-old Eric Ladd was walking slipped and hitMore >>
A Putney man was taken to the hospital after police say he was run over in a driveway. It happened this afternoon on Kimball Hill Road.More >>
Friday, April 18 2014 12:00 AM EDT2014-04-18 04:00:59 GMT
Police are searching for clues after a homemade bottle bomb was found at a park in Keene New Hampshire. On Wednesday workers were doing spring clean-up at Wheelock park when they found a 55-gallon drumMore >>
Police are searching for clues after a homemade bottle bomb was found at a park in Keene New Hampshire.More >>
Thursday, April 17 2014 11:58 PM EDT2014-04-18 03:58:40 GMT
There's been a tragedy on the Burlington beltway Thursday night. Police confirm that a 24-year-old Winooski man was killed in a motorcycle crash that shutdown the beltway. The name has been releasedMore >>
Burlington Police confirm that a 24-year-old Winooski man was killed in a motorcycle crash that shutdown the beltline.More >>
Thursday, April 17 2014 11:08 PM EDT2014-04-18 03:08:04 GMT
Police say two people found dead at a home in Stowe are believed to have died in a murder-suicide. Police are still not releasing their names or the cause of death, but they say the victims are adults. StoweMore >>
A Stowe couple is dead after what police say was a murder-suicide. The news came as a shock to neighbors who say they never noticed any red flags. More >>
Thursday, April 17 2014 6:58 PM EDT2014-04-17 22:58:26 GMT
A man charged with shooting his neighbor and two Vermont State Police officers was in court Thursday in Middlebury. Timothy Foley did appear in court Thursday in Middlebury. He wasn't there last time,More >>
A man charged with shooting his neighbor and two Vermont State Police officers was in court Thursday in Middlebury.More >>
Thursday, April 17 2014 11:26 AM EDT2014-04-17 15:26:34 GMT
A 79-year-old woman accused of causing the death of a motorcyclist in Vermont last year has pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of careless or negligent operation and has received a suspended sentence of six to...More >>
A 79-year-old woman accused of causing the death of a motorcyclist in Vermont last year has pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of careless or negligent operation and has received a suspended sentence of six to 12 months.More >>
Thursday, April 17 2014 12:05 PM EDT2014-04-17 16:05:16 GMT
A teenager has been arrested for making a bomb threat in St. Albans. Police say the threat was made to Project SOAR, an alternative school, Wednesday morning. The building was searched and no bomb wasMore >>
Police say a teenager has been arrested for allegedly making a bomb threat to an alternative school in St. Albans.More >>