RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - As the VCU community continues to mourn and remember Adam Oakes, a virtual vigil for the 19-year-old will take place Wednesday night.
“It makes us so proud and it makes us overwhelmed with gratitude,” explained Adam Oakes’ cousin Courtney White. “Just that the are doing this for Adam and the see him for the person he was and not what happened to him.”
Adam Oakes’ family believes hazing is to blame for his death. Family members say that after a night of heavy drinking, Oakes passed out at the Delta Chi fraternity house and was discovered there the next morning.
“We want answers. We feel there is a momentum at this time to get those answers. Every single one of us is a piece of the puzzle to get those answers,” she said.
White says friends of Adam’s from VCU planned the vigil and they plan to attend.
“At his high school some kids are talking about naming the football field for him, I know that touches my uncle a lot that the kids are coming up with innovative ideas to honor him,” said White.
A childhood friend started a GoFundMe for post-mortal costs. In two days, the fundraiser has raised more than $30,000. White says as people continue to donate, they are also sharing their memories of Adam which the family has continued to read.
“If anyone does know Adam--share your favorite memory, that pulls us through too, just knowing he touched so many lives,” she said.
White says the family doesn’t want what happened to Adam to happen to anyone else.
“My hope--keep him alive , keep his memory alive, keep what happened to him alive,” she said. “One other way to honor Adam, is to be yourself and stand up to people that are trying to get you to do bad things.”
The memorial will be held on Zoom from 6-8 pm on Wednesday, March 3. Throughout the day Wednesday, there will be a memorial at the Monroe Park Fountain.
Copyright 2021 WWBT. All rights reserved.