Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Bicyclist's Family Suggests Donations to Doctors Without Borders; Vigil for Yannick Linke Wednesday Night

Yannick Linke, a young man who loved to travel

Yannick Linke's sister provided these photos of her brother on one of his many trips

The family of the young man killed in a bicycle collision August 13th suggests that any donations made in his honor be directed to Doctors Without Borders/Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF), a private, non-profit international aid organization that was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for its medical humanitarian work. Sophia Linke, the sister of Yannick Linke, explained that her family discovered that he had donated to MSF shortly before his death. A Candlelight Walk and Community Vigil will be held Wednesday at 8pm to honor Linke, observe his tragic passing, and resolve to make city streets safe for all users.

Doctors Without Borders/MSF responds to emergencies worldwide and regularly provides aid in 60 countries whose populations are "threatened by violence, neglect, or catastrophe, primarily due to armed conflict, epidemics, malnutrition, exclusion from health care, or natural disasters," according to the organization's United States chapter. Doctors and journalists founded MSF in France in 1971. Different from many other aid groups, MSF declares its independence from agendas advanced by political, military, or religious interests. The organization notes that 90% of its overall funding -- and 100% of MSF-USA's funding -- comes from private sources, not from governments. Even more to its credit, MSF "reserves the right to speak out to bring attention to neglected crises, to challenge inadequacies or abuse of the aid system, and to advocate for improved medical treatments and protocols." MSF received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1999.

For more information on the work of MSF, see this six minute video:

Donations can be made to MSF online, by mail, or by phone; see the USA website. Donors may select different options for contributing to the organization's work. If you would like to donate and send a message to the Linke family in Germany, you can select an E-card option and direct your note to Sophia Linke at schreibsophia@yahoo.de (If you have trouble with that email, try schreibersophia@de.mail.yahoo.com ).

Participants at the memorial are asked to assemble by 8pm at the courtyard of the San Francisco Day School at the corner of Masonic and Golden Gate. Candles will be distributed and lit before everyone walks silently together up the block to Turk Street. SFPD officers will monitor Masonic traffic so everyone can cross the street together and gather around the ghost bike tribute to Linke on the southwest corner. A few neighborhood leaders will offer brief remarks, a statement from the Linke family will be read, and participants will be invited to share their thoughts. The memorial will conclude with a bike blessing.

Organizers have planned the memorial as a tribute and a reflection on the loss of this vibrant, happy, and enthusiastic young man. They have consulted with the Linke family in planning the event.

Candlelight Walk and Community Vigil
Wednesday, August 25
Meet at 8pm at the San Francisco Day School courtyard
350 Masonic @ Golden Gate Avenue
Bike parking is very limited; Candles will be provided
Flowers and donations to MSF-USA are encouraged
Information: michael7820@gmail.com
For other photos and Linke family descriptions of Yannick, see Streetsblog story here.


  1. Any update on the status of the investigation/prosecution of the person who ran him down?

  2. Traditional: No further news yet on the status of the investigation and prosecution. Next court hearing on October 1st.

  3. Traditional: he pleaded not guilty. evidently he stopped and got out of the car, then his date or gfriend drove him from the scene. they had a lot to drink, his blood alc was .1 two hours after the incident.