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Woodstock mother collects 1,300 books for fundraiser to honor late son

WOODSTOCK — A Woodstock mother who lost her 20-year-old son almost two years ago in a drowsy driving crash collected more than 1,300 books to give to underprivileged children in her son’s memory.

Diane Brokaw started Stuff the Stocking for Zach in 2015 in honor of her son, Zachery T. Brokaw. The event raised $3,000 and the proceeds were donated to a local Boy Scout troop so they could attend an outing.

This year, Diane Brokaw received $4,000 in donations and 125 books during a fundraiser that ran through the end of December.

She bought more than 1,300 books to give away with the money she collected.

She gave away 450 books to 136 children at the Woodstock Food Pantry over the weekend. Each child received three books.

The event coincided with Zach Brokaw’s birthday – he would have been 22 years old. Diane Brokaw is now working to find other places to donate the remaining 900 books.

Zach Brokaw was killed in June 2015 on his way to a local Wal-Mart after working several hours at a camp. He and his passenger fell asleep and his car traveled into oncoming traffic. Zach Brokaw was killed instantly and his passenger and the driver of the other vehicle struck were injured.

He had just finished his freshman year at Carleton College in Northfield, Minnesota, and was selected to work as a student naturalist with the Cowling Arboretum’s Cole Naturalist Program for the fall.

She plans to continue the fundraiser and recognize a different cause each year.

“[The event] helps me get through the holidays and keep his memory alive,” she said.

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