Ben Elias Memorial Fund
I wanted to provide an update to the Ben Elias Memorial Fund -
Initially I thought it would be meaningful to raise $3,000 but in the end we exceeded $11,000.
An incredible number of people donated, left heartfelt messages and expressed their grief as together we coped with losing someone so big, so extraordinary.
In total the campaign raised $11,267. After fees, together we transferred a total of $10,920 to the Elias family.
Thank you to everyone who donated and who have kept Ben and his family in their thoughts over these last difficult weeks.
I think I speak for all of us when I say we miss him like crazy.
Everyone's generosity is pretty overwhelming. Thank you. Mine and Liam's goal is to transfer control of the fund to Ben's family as soon as they're ready for it. I'll publish all of the accounting associated with the fund, so if you're wondering how and where the money is being spent, you can just revisit this page.
A few people have been asking me what happened, and as far as what Ben's family has publically posted and told me, is that Ben's cousin was being mugged and Ben tried to intervene.
Worth noting that Ben's family has also told me that details of the event are foggy, and likely to change or never be fully understood.
My original Facebook post can be found below:
I woke up to heart-wrenching news. Our brother, my brother, Ben Elias was killed last night travelling between the Dominican Republic and Haiti. Ben died in the same way that he lived: defending a loved one. As his cousin was being mugged, Ben intervened and was murdered for his actions.
I loved Ben. And he loved me. Until this morning, I have taken it for granted that in my adult life, no one calls me more than he. I am ashamed to admit that I sometimes found it annoying. Annoying that someone would find making such an effort to routinely stay connected so important.
Ben was incredibly intelligent. He loved to be at the centre of debate. A master at verbal sparring, Ben also had the rare talent of being able to change his mind. Which led to me frequently changing mine.
He was passionate and gregarious. Sensitive and caring.
In his adult life, Ben returned to Haiti, splitting his time between Canada and the country of his birth. Working in Canada, Ben would return home, sponsoring children, schools and his community.
I was a vocal critic that he was giving away too much of his money.
Today, Ben’s body is in Haiti. At the discretion of his family we have started a GoFundMe campaign to support the recovery of his body, his funeral costs and to continue supporting his own personal philanthropic efforts.
The first $1000 in donations will be matched, dollar to dollar.
My heart goes to the entire Elias clan, the community that Ben cherished so much in Haiti and our small group of boyhood friends that will forever be forced to talk about Ben and not with him.
Fundraising team (2)
Raised $350 from 4 donations
Raised $1,900 from 6 donations