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South Jordan Sodalicious fundraiser benefits fallen paramedic/firefighter’s family

Feb 14, 2017 12:57PM ● By Mylinda Le Grande

Fallen paramedic/firefighter, Tyson Mason (Salt Lake City Fire Department)

By Mylinda LeGrande | [email protected]

 The South Jordan Sodalicious offered 24-ounce, two-flavor sodas for free on Feb. 11. in exchange for donations made to fallen paramedic Tyson Mason’s family. The event was part of the store’s grand opening.

Sodalicious, located at 1421West  South Jordan Parkway, matched the donations up to $1,000 and raised a total of $2,000. The Riverton Sodalicious location also participated in the fundraiser.

Kaylie Hutchings, a Sodalicious employee, was working during the event.

“It was extremely busy but a lot of fun,” she said. “A lot of people came out just to support them. We like to support first responders and the military. It was a great way to help our community and [Mason’s] family.”

Mason, 29, is a fallen Salt Lake City firefighter/paramedic and Intermountain Life Flight paramedic, who lost his life on Jan. 22. Mason and a nurse were returning to Salt Lake City from Uintah Basin Medical Center in Roosevelt after completing a shift at the life flight base, when they got into a car crash.

 Their vehicle was struck head-on by a pick-up driving near Strawberry Reservoir. Mason’s paramedic partner and a nurse, Brian Maynard, 39, of West Haven, was seriously injured in the accident but expected to recover. Funeral services for Mason were held Jan. 28 in Layton. He left behind a wife and a 2-month-old son. 

 Kevin Auernig, owner of Sodalicious, said the fundraiser was suggested by customer, Toni Kirkham. Her husband works for West Valley City in the Fire Department and went through firefighting training with Mason.

Kirkham said when she had heard that the firefighter was killed was her husband’s friend, she felt so bad about the accident that she wanted to do something to help.

“A couple of days after the accident, I went to get a drink from Sodalicious. I asked them if they did fundraisers and was able to talk to the manager. She put me in touch with Paul Morris, the regional manager,” Kirkham said. “The cool thing is that they had just held a company meeting and discussed wanting to give back to the community.”

Morris said the activity was just the type of activity the company wanted to do, so Sodalicious picked up the event. It only took four days to put the event together, according to Kirkham.

“This event was a success,” Auernig said. “We are touched by how many total strangers willingly donated when they saw someone in need. We’re also grateful for all of the firefighters, paramedics and police officers from all over the valley who stopped in to drop some cash.”

Loved ones have created a GoFundMe page called "Hearts for Lukas" to raise funds for Mason's wife and newborn son. Donations can also be made at Zions Bank via the Lukas Mason Scholarship fund.