Giving Back has always been on my mind. Since I was a child, I knew deep within my soul that I was put here to make a change. We cannot expect change if we are unwilling to contribute to the solution. I never in my life expected my life’s contribution would be at the expense of losing the man I unconditionally loved, as if he were my own child. Maybe because in some ways, he was.
On August 17, 2019 at 4:38 pm on a beautiful sunny day, tragedy struck our family when my brother, Paul Brizzi, was killed by a drunk driver.
The following is part of our Crown’s opening submissions:
On Saturday afternoon, August 17th, 2019, Rakunath KANAGARATNAM, was operating a motor vehicle, a grey Toyota. Prior to choosing to operate his motor vehicle, Mr. Kanagaratnam consumed 7/8 of a bottle of Crown Royal whiskey. Mr. Paolo Brizzi, a 39-year-old resident of Toronto, had just left his friend’s home and was driving a black Infiniti. Mr. Brizzi, did not consume any alcohol and in fact, family members describe him as never drinking alcohol. In a video clip captured from the home video system of Mike Curcio, Mr. Paolo Brizzi, can be seen leaving his friend’s home and getting into his Black Infinity at approximately 4:28pm. From his friend’s house, Mr. Brizzi drove his car onto the 401 westbound collector’s lanes entering from the Keele St entrance. Within minutes Mr. Brizzi was dead.
UPDATE: On April 24, 2021, after almost 2 years, we, Paul Brizzi’s family, will finally get resolution. The sentence of the drunk driver that killed my brother will finally come down.
Following Paul’s death I did a lot of press. I did not speak of my business or what i do or where I was when I was told of my brother’s death. I spoke out to bring attention to this very violent PREVENTABLE death.
In 2020, I decided to use my platform and bring awareness to a VERY important cause, the prevention of Impaired Driving. I teamed up with MADD Canada to bring awareness to the graduates and their families as they embark on a new chapter of their lives. Young people’s voices carry far and wide and if I can inflict change in ONE of them and the inflict it on ONE person, we can make a change together.
We are devastated about Paul’s death. Everyday is like Groundhog Day. We will never be able to fill the void that has been left in our souls. I do not want another family to feel this unsettling pain.
Our T-Shirts do not only symbolize a monetary goal to give to MADD Canada but a constant reminder to THINK before you attempt to start that ignition.