Just months after her son died in a car crash in Tabb, Tammy Williams Guido is making sure other families don’t experience her pain.
“When a tragedy like this was avoidable and it wasn’t avoided, that’s where my passion comes in,” she said. “Someone has to do something about it.”
Guido has been working to plan a new soccer tournament in honor of her son, Conner Guido, 16, that will raise money for scholarships and teach communities about the dangers of driving underage and over the speed limit.
Conner was one of three Tabb High School students who died in a car crash on Oct. 26, 2019.
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Since the crash, Guido has been learning to accept the death of her son but she also doesn’t want his memory to be forgotten nor something like this to happen to another family.
“It’s a struggle everyday just to breathe,” she said. “Obviously for me, Conner’s memory will never go away…but it’s about the legacy of a passionate kid and turning something positive out of something negative.”
Through the “Gweedo Memorial Futsal Tournament,” Guido said she hopes to continue her son’s passion for a sport he was heavily involved in. Conner played for Tabb High School, Virginia Legacy Travel Ball Team, among other teams, and even joined a professional college recruiting firm that he hoped would help him play soccer at university.
In addition to his love of soccer, Conner also was a member of the track team and specialized in hurdles.
That’s why Guido wants to make a scholarship opportunity for students involved in multiple sports through the new tournament.
“Or goal is to give an annual scholarship in his name,” she said. “Our intention is his legacy will live on through these athletes who will get this scholarship and being able to announce that will give us a whole lot of pride.”
The scholarship will be funded through donations and proceeds from the tournament. Applications will be submitted to a committee of individuals involved with athletics in various aspects of the community.
The tournament at the Premiere Sports Center will feature girls, boys and coed teams of five to eight players that pay a $150 entry fee. Guido has already applied for nonprofit status 501c3 and expects approval before the tournament.
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Those interested can buy a custom t-shirt for the event for $40.
During the tournament, which will be on March 14 and 15, Guido said there will be vendors and presentations from local partners about safe driving practices and distracted driving. One of which will be a presentation from the York-Poquoson Sheriff’s Office 3D Team, which creates simulations of crashes in relation to drunk driving.
However, for this presentation the team is planning to add an element of speed, she said.
Guido said she hopes the tournament will not only be a way to remember her son but will also provide a chance to prevent any further tragic deaths.
“I can’t turn the clock backwards,” she said. “But what we can do is educate the community that has been so kind to us.”
To learn more about the Gweedo Memorial Futsal Tournament, visit the tournament on Facebook.