Rutland residents are coming together while remaining apart to show their support for a family dealing with the tragic death of their 18-month-old son.
On April 19, Gaige Banman was run over by a car on McCurdy Road.
Usually, the community would band together to hold a candlelight vigil for the young boy as it has for several tragic incidents in the past.
But amid physical distancing protocols and bans on large gatherings due to the COVID-19 pandemic, that’s not possible.
“It is so sad that we can’t show this type of support at this time I’m thinking of Gaige Banman’s parents and siblings and I’m wondering if they’re getting the support that they need and deserve,” read a post by Victoria Graham Sweetman on the Facebook group Rutland for Safe Neighbourhoods. “I’m suggesting that we as the amazing community of Rutland all light a candle for little Gaige Banman tonight (April 22) at 8 p.m. on our front doorstep.”
After the immense response to the post, Sweetman created a Facebook event, which as of Wednesday afternoon had nearly 150 people signed up to attend.
When news broke of Gaige’s death, a GoFundMe campaign was started to help the family cover funeral expenses, food and other household costs as well as allow them time to grieve for their son.
As of Wednesday afternoon, the fundraiser had garnered more than double its $7,500-goal, sitting at almost $17,000.