BY BRYNA ZUMER, firstname.lastname@example.org
6:53 PM EDT, October 30, 2013
Alexz McDowell had recently turned 20 when she was killed, along with two friends, in a grisly car accident in Street on Nov. 17, 2012.
Almost a year later, Ms. McDowell's family is joining the families and friends of the other victims in a memorial blood drive and the launch of a non-profit organization to help people in crisis.
Ms. McDowell's mother, Kelli McDowell, said she hopes the blood drive, planned Saturday, Nov. 2, is an event her daughter, who was passionate about volunteering, would have appreciated.
"I just wanted to do this for her birthday, in memory of everything she always did," McDowell said.
The drive will take place from 8 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the Darlington Volunteer Fire Company, at 2600 Castleton Road.
Alexzandria McDowell died along with two 21-year-old Jarrettsville men, Tyler Anderson and Shawn Ponton, when the Mazda3 Mr. Anderson was driving spun off a hill at Prospect Road near Mill Green Road, tearing the car apart.
Two other passengers, Theresa Owensby, 19, of Bel Air, and David Clark, 21, of Street, suffered major injuries as a result of the crash.
Kelli McDowell said both are doing well. Owensby recently started walking but is unable to work. Clark, who was dating Alexz McDowell, recently returned to classes at Harford Community College, she said.
McDowell is also starting a non-profit called "Allot of Alexz," to benefit people in the northern Harford area who may be in crisis.
She is asking those who attend the blood drive to consider bringing a canned good or dry food item for the organization.
McDowell said her daughter wanted to join the Peace Corps after traveling to Italy and Switzerland with Clark, and had grand plans for her life.
At the funeral home, McDowell discovered her daughter "had nine little pieces in her wallet that just had everything she wanted to do in her life, which was really ironic."
"One of the things was: Volunteer, volunteer, volunteer," she said.
Alexz McDowell was planning to become a bone marrow donor and donated blood "faithfully" to the American Red Cross, her mother explained.
"She had a romanticism for life," her mother said. "She had a sense of adventure."
The relatives and friends of the victims have stayed close since the tragedy that touched a lot of lives, she said.
Another fundraiser was held in May in memory of the three who died, called Angels Among Us. Shawn Ponton's mother, meanwhile, contributed to the Relay For Life cancer organization.
"Everyone is trying to make the best of this situation," McDowell said. "Everybody is just trying their best, as good as best can be."
At the end of the day, they want to give back to the Street-area community that helped them through the aftermath of a horrific accident.
"If it wasn't for this community, I don't know what I would have done," she said.