‘Justice for Gavin’ Sharing the life of a beloved teen, on the three month anniversary of his passing
BERLIN. Md. – “When we come here and you know, there’s like little trinkets left and that we don’t know what it means, but to that person and to Gavin, they know exactly what that means, you know? And it’s just, you don’t, we didn’t realize how many lives he touched,” shared Tiffany Knupp, Gavin’s mother.
A Life Taken Too Soon
At just 14-years-old, Gavin Knupp, left his mark on the Ocean Pines community. A life taken too soon, memorialized on the side of Grays Corner Road. If you stop by his memorial, there you’ll find a sandy heart covered with small reminders of who he was.
A Tackle box, Wetsuit, and Goalie Gloves
Those are all material items that hold memories for family and friends who remember Gavin’s spirit best.
“He was a very nice kid, and if you knew him, you would just wanna be his friend right away,” said 10-year-old Willow Richards, Gavin’s friend.
“He was always happy if the other person was happy. They were sad. He was sad,” said Kam Blagus, Gavin’s friend.
“Everyone that you knew basically liked him right away and he could fit in with any group,” said Morgan Sullivan Gavin’s friend.
“He was a really funny person. Um, really sweet. He cared a lot about a lot of people,” said Maddox Kindred, Gavin’s friend.
More Than Friends, More Like Family
Just three months after Gavin’s death, his loss is still fresh to those closest to him. “He was my brother pretty much,” said Blagus. Richards echoed a similar sentiment. “So he just felt like he was my brother.”
They’re teens from different families, bonded by trauma, over the loss of someone they described as caring and spontaneous.
“I really wish I could have seen him again. I’m glad that I did get to spend the moments I did with him, said Hannah Neal, Gavin’s friend. “I text him every day, but it’s just like hard cuz he can’t answer me,” shared Julian Zimmer, Gavin’s friend. “When I go fishing, I have a little chain and it’s a picture of me and him on it, and I, my kayak, I named it after him,” said Blagus.
For Kam, remembering Gavin didn’t stop at naming his kayak. He also got a tattoo, that’s shaded with things they loved to do together.
It’s a level of love and support that still overwhelms Gavin’s mother, Tiffany. “These kids, they have no clue how strong they are and how much they’re helping us heal.”
How Does This Community Heal and Move Forward After Such a Loss?
“We need to make change and I’m not gonna let Gavin’s death be his final word. So he’s gonna be remembered, um, for the good things that are gonna come from this and his foundation the Gavin Knupp Foundation. We’ve started that because we want to make sure that kids get to live a life that he lived and do the things that he wanted to do,” said Knupp.
The Gavin Knupp Foundation will encourage and help others “Do it for Gavin,” as seen on t-shirts, bracelets, and stickers. It’s a somber reminder to live life to the fullest- as Gavin did.
We asked his mother and friends, if he was still alive… how would he react to the outpouring of community support?
“He would think he’s really cool , so he, he would think he’s really, really cool and, you know, he would realize some of the girls actually did have crushes. So he’d feel pretty good about that,” said Knupp. “I think that he would be proud of everyone coming together because even though like people don’t know him, people are still bringing awareness to the situation,” replied Neal.
Do It For Gavin
It’s an empowering message, that ties to another – they won’t stop pushing for… “Justice for Gavin.”
On October 22nd, the family will host the 1st Gavin Knupp Foundation Benefit. It’ll take place from 2 to 7 p.m. at the Sinepuxent Brewing Company at 8816 Stephen Decatur Highway.