The Beaches and Birch Cliff communities are grieveing the painful; sudden loss of our beautiful, vivacious, hilarious friend, Karla Groten. Karla was taken from us yesterday, December 21, 2017, as she walked home from a hair appointment. She was struck by a drunk
driver at Warden and Kingston Rd, and killed instantly.
Karla was truly one of a kind. Stunningly beautiful. Keen witted. Empathic beyond words.
She was a survivor of domestic abuse; used her past experiences to help others, and became a very vocal advocate for other abused women. Her passion centered around Dr. Roz’ Healing Place, a shelter for abused women; families. She worked tirelessly for others, in an after school program, fundraising for Dr. Roz, and putting her own voice forward for equality for so many marginalized persons in our country. She loved comic books, theatre, music, and dance.
The Outlander, The Walking Dead, and The Bachelor were favourite binge shows. Karla was a sister, a daughter, a friend. A woman who was known to all in our tight-knit community. And before all of these things, she was a mom. She was a single, working mother of
two teenagers, Max, 16, and Haley, 18.
Karla is gone, and her babies are here, left to face a
world without her. Her true passion lived with her children. Max was born with severe special
needs and lives in a group home that has provided him with therapies, structure, and programs
that help him to live a full life. Max brought Karla many challenges, and many more moments of
love and pride. She proudly showed his accomplishments with her circle, and celebrated his big
moments and breakthroughs as they occurred. Haley, just turned 18, is a talented singer, actor,
and all around theatre ace. She recently graduated from Cardinal Newman High School, held a
lead role in several of the school’s musicals; was a member of the Toronto Beaches Children’s
Choir. Karla lived for Haley and Max. On Haley’s graduation, Karla had these words: “A strong
beautiful young woman who didn't let elementary school bullying bring her down, she rose up, she did
outstanding in school and has wowed me with her art and creativity. Most importantly her character,
strong sense of love and loyalty, the way she applauds people's courage and cares so much....and how
she calls me out when I slip up!! So, so, so, so proud to have the privilege of being this young woman's
mom. Haley you are going to rock this stage of your life just like you rock the stage every time.
Haley and Max were robbed of their biggest fan, their champion, their mama yesterday. Our
goal, quite frankly, is to provide both Max and Haley with everything they need for their future.
We want Max to have access to all the treatments, new technologies, and programs, and full-
time residences that will help him fulfil his own unique destiny in whatever path he chooses. We
want Haley to pursue her dreams in theatre, and art school, whatever she wants to focus on,
with her education, and her basic needs taken care of.
We are so grateful to everyone who has
contributed and shared this campaign, thus far. We as an extended community, can continue to
come together to bring a miracle to these kids. It’s the holidays. We all have so many blessings
of our own. Surely, we can share our blessings with this family in the wake of this tragedy.
Karla, we love you. You will be missed. Everywhere. By everyone.
This page was created by Anna Dewar Gully who is a neighbour and local community association chair (Birch Cliff Village) in support of Karla's kids. All funds raised will be sent to an account of Haley's choice when the campaign closes.
DonationsSee top donations
- Miki Byers
- Paul Martella
Organizer and beneficiary
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