New Budd memorial fund will focus on mental health

From tragedy to legacy

Kelowna philanthropist Tom Budd hopes he can turn the pain he suffered after losing his two sons to suicide into something positive for youth and young adults across the Okanagan.

To that end, he has established the Payton and Dillon Budd Memorial Fund.

"I've come up with the idea, if I want to do something and have a legacy for my kids, I'm going to set up a fund and I'm actually going to raise money for the first time. I've never done that," Budd told Castanet.

"With all the people I've been helping, people are always saying 'how can I help? If you do something, I want to be there.'"

Budd says donations can be made through the Thomas Alan Budd Foundation, and all funds raised from the public will be matched, dollar-for-dollar by his own foundation.

"With that (memorial) fund, I'm going to go out and branch into areas where I will sponsor events and activities where teens, youth, young adults can be shown ways to be emotionally healthy ... develop their friendships.

"I'm going to sponsor yoga events, music events, sporting events under the Payton and Dillon Budd Memorial Fund."

Budd has spent much of his time in recent years speaking about mental health, and helping groups who deal with mental health issues, such as the Canadian Mental Health Association and Third Space, through his own foundation.

He met with a woman Wednesday who has one son who is suicidal and another son who suffers with addictions.

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