New snowboard features at Mount La Crosse honor AJ Petras

Published On: Feb 02 2013 05:54:08 PM CST   Updated On: Feb 02 2013 08:18:05 PM CST
LA CROSSE, Wis. -- -

New snowboarding features at Mount La Crosse are honoring a young man shot and killed in downtown La Crosse.

The terrain park additions are in honor of 19-year-old AJ Petras, who was an avid snowboarder.

Petras and his father Paul were shot to death at Mays Photo in downtown La Crosse in September.

Now the Petras family is honoring AJ by using money raised in a memorial fund to put in six new snowboarding features in the terrain park.

Skiers and snowboarders were already out trying two of the features, the rest will be installed in the coming weeks.

Mount La Crosse staff say AJ loved to snowboard and was a regular at the hill.

"The family just wanted to do something that would make AJ Petras happy and I agree he would have loved all this, and we're happy to get everything in and excited for the family to come out and see what they've done," said Mount La Crosse Marketing Director Darcie Breidel.

One of AJ's friends, who works at Mount La Crosse , also lost his sister last year in a shooting.

Tim Hougom hopes the memorial helps remind people to be thankful for every moment.

"I hope people appreciate the gift of life and get inspired to ride a lot more," Hougom said. "A lot of my friends are also AJ's friends and they took it pretty hard. I hope it's motivation for them to ride a lot more."

Jeffrey Lepsch, the man charged with the Petras murders, is scheduled to go on trial in May.