In early 1989, Jim and Helen Kilroy began searching for their missing son, Mark Kilroy. Four weeks later, they learned that Mark had been kidnapped and murdered and used as a human sacrifice by a drug smuggling cult in Matamoros, Mexico. Mark was a 21-year-old University of Texas at Austin, Texas pre-med student on spring break. During the search and after the discovery, Mark's parents received thousands of letters and talked with many people who told them of the destruction in their lives caused by drugs and the related violence.
The Kilroys knew the search for their son was over and that he was safe in heaven with God. They were at peace because they believed in eternal life with God but they needed to do something. Our young people today are searching for their place in life and they have many different paths to choose. The Kilroys wanted to provide a positive alternative to the drugs and violence that have become so widespread in our culture.
In May 1989, the Mark Kilroy Foundation, a 501(c)(3) Non-Profit Organization was formed. The primary goal was to unite organizations and individuals of the community in the prevention of substance abuse. The Foundation has since been involved in drug and violence prevention, education and rehabilitation. It has provided seed money to residential men's and women's treatment facilities. Two four-year Scholarships are awarded annually between two different school districts. The Kilroys have spoken throughout Texas at schools, organizations and churches. They have put any and all money given to them, including all book sale monies, into the Foundation's anti-drug and violence prevention efforts. In Jim Kilroy and Bob Stewart's book "Sacrifice", Jim relates a very personal account of the family's search for their son. After Mark was found, it was a father's determination to turn evil into good.