Local Event Dedicated to UNR Student Killed In Crash
JCPenney hosts their annual Blood Drive and Safety Bash event this weekend, but this time it was dedicated to a teen who died earlier in September.
Matthew Sutton graduated from Wooster High School earlier this year, and was attending the University of Nevada, Reno when he was struck by a car while on a crosswalk on September 10. He died from his injuries.
Saturday JCPenney, where Matthew worked, hosted their annual Blood Drive and Safety Bash at Meadowood Mall in his honor. After this month's events, and due to the adoration his colleagues had for him, Saturday's event was dedicated to Matthew, and they added a fundraiser to help the families pay for services.
I spoke with family of friends of Matthew who remember him as someone who would go out and do things his way but would always be the one to pick someone up when they were down.
"He had the most contagious smile," Matthew's mother Brooke Sutton says. "He would do whatever he needed to get you to smile."
"The way he would just lighten up someone's day with his cheesy smile," Hunter Wood, colleague and close friend of Matthew, says. "And give the biggest bears hugs that anybody has ever gotten."
"His hugs were effective," Brooke says. "You could tell how much love he had."
"He made parenting easy, he really did," Matthew's stepfather Mike Woods says. "He was self-driven. Ever since 2nd grade, he would get out of bed on his own and it took him all the way to college. He had four scholarships, turned down two. All on his own."
His parents say it's fitting to have a blood drive as a part of the event because it gave others another chance at life just like Matthew did since he was an organ donor. His parents knew he was special, but were still surprised to see the outpour of support from his co-workers.
"It's so overwhelming I don't even know how to describe it," Mike says.
"I didn't realize he had touched so many people's lives," Brooke says. "He continues to make me proud."