The first thing that jumps out of photographs of Logan Kushner is his smile.
"That was the way it was," said his mother, P.A. Kushner, "When he walked in the room, the smile was there."
It's been almost a year since 19-year-old Logan Kushner drowned in a Clearwater creek. On January 8, 2012, police say he and a friend had smoked a then-legal form of synthetic marijuana called "Jazz." Logan's friend went home to meet a curfew. He stayed at the park. Friends found him floating in the water a few hours later.
"Logan made a mistake that night by making a choice," said his mother. "That's the responsibility we all have when we make decisions."
But she doesn't want Logan remembered for his death. In life, he had a vibrant circle of friends, and loved sports. He played football and wrestled at Palm Harbor University High School. He also volunteered hundreds of hours for numerous organizations.
"He was a remarkable young man and I'm very proud to be his mother," said P.A. Kushner, tearing up. "I miss him."
To keep Logan's legacy alive, his family and friends started the "I'm Logan It" Foundation. The goal of the foundation is to inspire children to have good self-esteem and encourage them to do random acts of kindness-- just like Logan did.
As for the name, P.A. isn't quite sure what it means. Logan's friends came up with it.
"It had been going on," she said. "They'd walk around campus saying 'I'm Logan it!' It's like, what does that mean? We're going to find out."
The foundation has it's first flag football tournament scheduled for Saturday, December 29th. It is being held at the Joe DeMaggio Sports Complex in Clearwater from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. More than 30 teams have already signed up, and P.A. Kushner expects more than 500 people to attend. The money raised will go to benefit the Juvenile Diabetes Research Fund, the Tourette Syndrome Association and college scholarship funds.
"I just love him so much," she said. "I'm hoping his legacy lives on through his foundation and through helping other people."
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