A Tucson family is turning tragedy into a park project that will celebrate their loved one’s deep passion for dogs.

The family of Austin Fitzgerald has established a memorial fund and is working with Pima County Natural Resources, Parks and Recreation on a fundraising event to enhance and revitalize the large-dog park at Brandi Fenton Memorial Park.

Fitzgerald, a graduate of Catalina Foothills High School, died Dec. 3, 2013, at age 19 after a 17-day battle with acute lung failure.

He had adopted a Husky named Aoki from Pima Animal Care Center and later bought a Husky named Zedd. His goal had been to rescue Huskies from PACC and place them with loving families.

As a memorial, his family decided “to provide a place where all can come to love and enjoy something that was very dear to Austin’s heart,” according to the website created in his memory to raise funds for the project, www.fitzgeraldfoundation.com.

The revitalized dog park will include an obstacle course and a spacious turf area for dogs to run and play. More information about Fitzgerald and the plans for the dog park is on the website.

The Austin Fitzgerald Memorial Dog Park Fundraiser will be Saturday, Aug. 23, from 4 to 6 p.m. at Brandi Fenton Memorial Park. The event will include a canine carnival, food trucks, and a silent auction.

Donations will be welcome at the fundraiser and on the website. All donations are tax-deductible. Checks should be made payable to and mailed to the Brandi Michelle Fenton Foundation, 6340 N. Campbell Ave., Suite 240, Tucson, AZ 85718. Please write “Austin Fitzgerald Memorial Dog Park” in the memo field.

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