Over $7,000 raised for Chad Ainsworth at pub fundraiser

On Sunday, Feb. 8 over 200 people gathered at The Blind Monk for Fundraiser for Chad, an event to support local Calgarian Chad Ainsworth, whose life was changed forever on Dec. 21, 2014.

Ainsworth was a victim of a hit-and-run, and according to a Calgary Police Service news release, the vehicle was travelling at 90 km/h when it hit him. The accident that occurred at Macleod Trail and 39th Avenue S.E. ended up hospitalizing the 32-year-old.

Ainsworth suffered 20 broken bones, eight of which are in his right shoulder. But, he said doctors believe he is healing ahead of time.

“I am doing good, but still have a long way to go,” Ainsworth said at the fundraiser. He added that after seven weeks in the hospital, he is eager to go home.

The vehicle and the suspect or suspects have yet to be found.People show their support for Ainsworth, entering the raffle for prizes such as autographed memorabilia from the Flames.

Photo by Skye Anderson

David Oades, the organizer of Fundraiser for Chad, met Chad working at The Keg restaurant, where Ainsworth was also employed.

“Chad’s a really good guy, we hang out a lot, whenever we can,” said Oades. “I was actually playing Buck Hunter with him here a couple nights before the accident actually happened.”

Oades wanted to do something to help Ainsworth, who may not be able to work for years due to the severity of his injuries. The event attracted raffle donations from restaurants including 1410 World Bier Haus, The Keg, The Living Room and Hudsons Canadian Tap House, as well as tickets from the Flames and Stampeders. In total, over 80 items were donated.

The fundraiser raised more than $4,000 for Ainsworth. In addition, over $3,000 has been raised through the personal fundraising website, Go Fund Me.

According to the Calgary Police Service, in 2014 there were 456 collisions involving pedestrians, a number that increases every year. In 2012, there were 439 incidents, and the collisions rose to 450 in 2013.

Perhaps in response, the city recently introduced Rectangular Rapid Flash Beacons, or RRFBs, also known as pedestrian-activated crossings.

“I am doing good, but still have a long way to go.”

-Chad Ainsworth, hit-and-run victim.A 2013 RRFB Pilot Project Summary Report revealed that most of the RRFBs have proven to have a positive impact on driver behaviour.

“The results of the motorist yielding behaviour performance were completed for eight locations and showed increases at all locations,” the report states.

Investigators are still looking for the person, or persons that drove into Ainsworth. The suspect vehicle is a white, 1996-1998 Pontiac Grand Am with possible damage to its front end.

If you have any information regarding this incident, please call the Calgary Police Service Traffic Section at 403-567-4000.

sanderson@cjournal.ca