On Monday, David Molak would have turned 17. Instead, he took his own life in January after becoming the victim of cyber bullying.
However, his death is not in vain as many are remembering David in different ways, while raising awareness of a growing problem.
On Monday evening, dozens showed up to Christ Episcopal Church to listen to music by the musicians of the San Antonio Symphony. It was a way to celebrate David’s 17th birthday, but to also further benefit his foundation which is trying to end cyber bullying.
A year ago Maurine Molak never would have guessed that she would be celebrating her son's 17th birthday the way she did. There was music, plenty of family and friends, but no David.
“It was really tough this morning. I had a hard time getting out of bed. I think all firsts that we’ll have this year are going to be especially difficult, but I think moving forward, his birthday will always be a hard day for us,” Maurine said.
Monday was all about celebrating his life, but also furthering David's Legacy Foundation, which is working to protect youth from improper social media usage, raising awareness of cyber bullying and making cyber bullying punishable by law.
“It’s time for society to step up and make something happen and prevent this type of thing from happening again,” said Mike Molak, David’s uncle.
“I think people are now starting to wake up and realize what a pervasive evil it can be and how there’s a difference between cyber bullying and regular bullying and that cyber bullying can be shared with hundreds and thousands of people in just a click, and that’s what just ends up devastating a child so much,” Maurine said.
And while Monday was anything but a traditional birthday celebration, it made David’s mother realize how much her son was loved.
“The community has celebrated David today in just ways I could’ve never even imagined,” Maurine said.
David's law will go before the Texas legislature next year. If passed, it would be a misdemeanor to cyber bully anyone under the age of 18. The law would also provide resources for schools and law enforcement to identify people engaging in cyber bullying.