WOODSTOCK – A Woodstock woman is planning a fundraiser in honor of her late son.
Diane Brokaw lost her son, Zach Brokaw, in 2015 after a car crash, and she has hosted fundraisers annually in his memory. Zach was an Eagle Scout and nature lover, and the fundraisers have focused on contributing to the community. This year, Brokaw is planning to put together backpacks with binoculars and field guides to inspire local kids’ own love of birding and nature.
“Birding was very important to him,” Brokaw said. “It was a big part of his life, and this can help get other kids interested.”
Brokaw wants to raise at least $5,000 to put together 150 backpacks ahead of International Migratory Bird Day in April, which is when Zach was born, she said.
In 2015, Brokaw raised $3,000 to go toward Zach’s Boy Scout troop, and in 2016, she donated more than 1,300 nature books to local kids.
The Stuff the Stocking for Zach event has helped Brokaw deal with her grief over the holiday season, she said.
“It’s something to focus on in a positive light,” she said. “It brings me joy to be able to turn around and give something to other children. Seeing joy on their faces is priceless.”
Zach was a giving person. He only was 20 when he died, and Brokaw said she wants to carry on his mission.
“Zach’s mission was to make the world kinder place,” she said. “I am trying to continue that mission and gets kids involved in outdoors and interested in birding, which is something he was passionate about.”
Tax deductible donations can be sent to the McHenry County Audubon Society, c/o Diane Brokaw, 8912 Route 120, Woodstock, IL 60098. PayPal also is accepted. For information, call 815-276-4194.