Memorial Toy Drive Touches Hearts, Brings Happiness, Raises Awareness

image of a young boy and text: in loving memory of Alex

On September 18, 2021 Alex, a vibrant 5-year-old, tragically lost his life in a drowning accident. Alex was always smiling and never let autism define him. He loved Mickey Mouse and coming to Trudeau. To raise awareness about drowning prevention and to honor her son’s memory, Alex’s mother Jennifer organized a toy drive for water toys to be donated to the Trudeau Center.

The drive received a tremendous response – even the mayor of Warwick made a donation! With the help of a donated UHaul, Jennifer delivered the toys to the Center on July 25th, which would have been Alex’s seventh birthday.

“On behalf of Alex’s family and all of us here at the Trudeau Center, I would like to express a heartfelt thank you to everyone who helped to make this toy drive a success. Even more important, I would like to thank Alex’s mom Jennifer for her incredibly important and impactful efforts to spread awareness about drowning prevention,” said Trudeau Center President and CEO Al Vario.

Throughout the toy drive, Jennifer and Alex’s family shared the following water safety tips:

  • Never leave a child unsupervised near a pool.
  • If a child is missing, check the pool first.
  • Do not leave anything a child can climb next to an above ground pool.
  • Do not allow a young child in the pool without an adult.
  • Do not consider young children to be drown proof because they have had swimming lessons.
  • Do not use flotation devices as a substitute for supervision.