The story of “Wayne’s Walk”
Wayne Nicholas Lecardo; beloved son, brother, husband, uncle, godfather, and friend was killed by a teenage drunk driver on January, 28th, 2007, two days before his 34th birthday. He was on his way home from his job as a Butler at Foxwood’s Casino. Wayne, his co-worker, and the teenager driving the other car were all killed. One teenager survived. It was a senseless tragedy that could have been prevented.
Wayne’s family and friends travelled from around the world to Mystic, CT for Wayne’s funeral. On the night before the funeral, and only three nights after Wayne’s tragic death, three of Wayne’s close friends were nearly killed when their vehicle was rear-ended by another drunk driver! They had just left Wayne’s home and were only a mile down the road. Although all survived with varying degrees of injuries, the shock and horror of another senseless drunk driving crash was completely surreal.
Wayne’s loss is still incomprehensible to all who knew and loved him. You only need meet him once to learn that his kindness and generosity were contagious, his sense of humor unrivaled, and his amazing spirit unforgettable!
Shortly after Wayne’s death, a dear friend laid flowers at “Wayne’s Walk”
Wayne Lecardo was born and raised in Stratford, Connecticut. Across the street from his childhood home, a walkway leads to Long Island Sound and Stratford’s Short Beach. Each year when spring arrived, Wayne would spend time cleaning up the walkway and beach, raking and sweeping away the debris that had washed up during the winter. This was one of Wayne’s favorite places! One day when he was a teenager, he took a stick and wrote in freshly laid concrete “Wayne’s Walk”. It is still visible in the concrete today.
After Wayne’s tragic death, the work began to obtain approval to officially name this walkway “Wayne’s Walk”. The vision of a permanent memorial and a nonprofit foundation to raise money to support victims of drunk driving crashes began several years ago. It has now come to fruition.
“Wayne’s Walk” was officially dedicated on Saturday, June 11, 2011 by Stratford’s Mayor, John Harkins, along with United States Senator Richard Blumenthal, CT State Senator Kevin Kelly, Connecticut’s Executive Director for Mother’s Against Drunk Driving (MADD), members of the media, Wayne’s family and friends, and hundreds of supporters who braved inclement weather to be part of this memorable event. The dedication was followed by the first annual “Wayne’s Walk”, a 5K Walk along the shoreline of Stratford, and a celebration with food, live music, and family friendly activities.
We are very proud of our accomplishments since establishing our organization in 2011. We have held several successful events that have helped us raise funds to support our mission. We have donated thousands of dollars to support programs offered by MADD, and our Victim Assistance Fund has made more then $25,000.00 worth of donations to drunk driving victims. We are the ONLY non-profit organization in the State of Connecticut raising money to help drunk driving victims. We are also the first non-profit organization in the United States to create a partnership with Uber for a Safe Rides program to reduce drunk driving. For more information, please visit https://newsroom.uber.com/us-connecticut/working-together-for-safer-streets-in-stratford/