In a remarkably heartwarming act, it appears that Paul Walker is to be commemorated by a teenage fan. The tribute to the late actor, who starred as the leading role in the high-octane Fast and Furious movie franchise, is being organized by 18-year-old Lorenzo Garcia, with all the proceeds going to charity.
Walker was tragically killed at 3:30 p.m. on Saturday Nov. 30 when the vehicle, of which he was a passenger, careened out of control and subsequently collided with a light pole and tree in Santa Clarita, California. The vehicle in question was a 2005 Porsche Carrera GT and was being driven by racing team partner Roger Rodas, who was also Walker’s friend and financial adviser.
It has been reported that the Carrera GT is notoriously difficult to handle, even with an experienced driver placed at the helm – something that, quite conceivably, could factor into the cause of the accident. The high-performance Porsche was owned by IndyCar driver Graham Rahal, who had previously talked about the vehicle’s unforgiving handling.
Paul Walker Tribute Cruise
Garcia plans to host a charitable cruise, kicking off at Lansdowne Mall in Richmond at around noon. From there, the congregation plans to travel to Porteau Cove, before heading off to AutoForm Performance in Vancouver to watch the first Fast and Furious film.
However, the primary ambition behind the event is to raise funds for typhoon relief efforts in the Philippines. The money will be given to the Canadian Red Cross, an organization involved in coordinating a series of health initiatives throughout the island of Leyte. The organization constructs emergency shelters, offers psychological support and distributes food, cooking utensils, drinkable water and hygiene kits to victims of the natural disaster.
With this in mind, Garcia is requesting all participants of the event donate a modest $5. It is hoped the money will help further the humbling efforts of those working to restore some semblance of normality to the region, which has been devastated by landslides and intense flooding.
Speaking to Global News, Garcia, whose parents were both born in the Philippines, discusses the personal significance of the commemorative affair:
“I’ve always wanted to do something to help. To do something like this, connecting cars and a fundraiser, works really well.”
Walker also invested much of his time in orchestrating and promoting charitable pursuits. In fact, the star’s death transpired during a fundraiser for Reach Out Worldwide (ROWW) – a non-profit organization that was originally founded by the much-loved actor, in 2009. ROWW dispatches first responders to disaster-struck regions across the globe, and was one of the very first organizations to place relief teams on the ground in Leyte Island, during the aftermath of typhoon Haiyan (a.k.a. Yolanda).
Details of the event have been posted on a Facebook event’s page, entitled “A Tribute to Paul Walker” (see sources). As of writing, almost 600 attendees have confirmed their intention of joining the charitable occasion, with an extra 360+ individuals possibly attending.
‘Fast & Furious 6’ DVD Proceeds to Benefit Walker’s Charity
A percentage of the earnings from DVD, Blu-ray and digital release sales for the 2013 blockbuster hit, Fast & Furious 6, are to be donated to Walker’s ROWW foundation.
The chairman of Universal Pictures, Donna Langley, issued a statement discussing the departed 40-year-old’s many incredible accomplishments. Langley described Walker as a man who dedicated much of his life “… in service of others,” before going on to offer the entire studio’s condolences:
“We share in the deep grief of his family, friends and the countless fans who love him… We keep Paul’s memory alive and honor his legacy through continued support of Reach Out Worldwide, the nonprofit he founded to give hope to those who must rebuild after they have experienced natural disasters.”
Walker was on a Thanksgiving break when the fateful accident occurred. He was shooting for the seventh installment of the street racing action series, with production planned to resume on the following Monday in Atlanta. Although a number of scenes have already been filmed, individuals working on the project claim that it is far from finished.
The studio announced on Wednesday that production of the film had been suspended indefinitely, whilst they assessed all available options.
The Los Angeles County coroner’s office recently listed the official cause of death for both Walker and Rodas; Walker’s death has been attributed to the combined effects of blunt force trauma and thermal injuries, resulting from the ensuing fire, whereas Rodas was killed by multiple traumatic injuries. The deaths have been ruled as accidental, but toxicology reports are still pending – the results of which are not expected for another six to eight weeks.
The investigation, meanwhile, remains ongoing, as officials attempt to ascertain the precise cause of the accident. Little is known, thus far, but sheriff’s investigators have previously remarked that speed was a factor in the devastating collision.
By James Fenner
Paul Walker Facebook Tribute Event’s Page