Santa Cruz County

Family of cyclist killed in hit-and-run donates reward fund for Capitola dog park

CAPITOLA, Calif. - The family of a man killed while riding his bike two years ago has donated $8,000 to the city of Capitola for a new dog park on McGregor Drive.

The money comes from Ozzi Dog Park, Inc., a nonprofit organization established in memory of Joshua Raine Laven, who was killed in a hit and run on Highway 1 in 2012.

The Capitola City Council has authorized a multi-use recreational park at the city-owned McGregor Drive property, located near the entrance to New Brighton State Beach. The new park will have three components - a skate park, dog park and bike park.

Laven, 39, was riding across the country in honor of his friend, who had died while on vacation. Laven was traveling with his Cairn terrier, Ozzi, who was found sitting by Laven's body. A couple cycling by found Ozzi first and then found his owner. They're since adopted the dog.

The driver who struck Laven has never been caught, and Laven's family had established a reward fund for information leading to that person.  That has not happened and his family instead decided to create the Ozzi Dog Park, Inc. using that unclaimed reward money. 

Additionally, Gayle's Bakery in Capitola has joined the family in their fundraising efforts and is now matching the donations that come into the donation box on the counter at Gayle's. The Ozzi Dog Park, Inc. will receive the right to name the new dog park.

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