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Belfast school students hold fundraising event in memory of nine-year-old boy who died

Trayton Acton.
Trayton Acton. - Contributed
BELFAST, P.E.I. —

Tracy Knox says the students at Belfast Consolidated School are helping to keep the memory of her son alive.

Trayton Acton, 9, collapsed from a heart attack during the school’s Terry Fox Run in September.

His schoolmates are making sure that Trayton will never be forgotten.

The school held a Toonies for Trayton fundraiser this past week for the Heart and Stroke Foundation of P.E.I. in the boy’s memory. They managed to raise $2,100. February is Heart Health Month.

“(We) have so much support and to see Trayton represented by his school and have a fundraising event in his memory will always keep him with us,’’ Knox said.

For the past few weeks, every class in the school has been collecting spare change. Bottles for spare change were also collected at nearby Cooper’s Red and White and at Beck’s Home Furniture in Montague.

Lynn Docherty, a volunteer with the Heart and Stroke Foundation of P.E.I. and who co-ordinated the school fundraiser, said everybody jumped on board to help.

“Each classroom had a bottle set up in the classroom, and every student was to bring in as many toonies or as many monetary donations to go into the bottle,’’ Docherty said.

“I really miss him. I thought we should do something to remember him. We know he’s an angel now.’’ -Ben Docherty, Trayton’s cousin

An assembly was held at the school on Thursday where Trayton’s classmates presented the Heart and Stroke Foundation of P.E.I. with the cheque. It was also announced that the school will be creating a plaque in honour of the young boy that will sit in the trophy case inside the main doors.

Students at Belfast Consolidated School raised $2,100 for the Heart and Stroke Foundation of P.E.I. in memory of Trayton Acton, 9, who collapsed from a heart attack at the school in September. From left are Jackson Acton, Harlow Acton, Auston Acton, Griffon Acton (holding the cheque on the left), Neely Bell, Brayden Macpherson, Declan Acton and Ben Docherty. All of the Actons pictured are Trayton’s siblings. Neely and Ben are Trayton’s cousins. - Contributed
Students at Belfast Consolidated School raised $2,100 for the Heart and Stroke Foundation of P.E.I. in memory of Trayton Acton, 9, who collapsed from a heart attack at the school in September. From left are Jackson Acton, Harlow Acton, Auston Acton, Griffon Acton (holding the cheque on the left), Neely Bell, Brayden Macpherson, Declan Acton and Ben Docherty. All of the Actons pictured are Trayton’s siblings. Neely and Ben are Trayton’s cousins. - Contributed

 

Docherty’s son, Ben, who is also Trayton’s cousin, said he wanted to do something to help honour his memory.

Ben and Trayton played soccer together.

“I really miss him,’’ Ben said. “I thought we should do something to remember him. We know he’s an angel now.’’

Island businesses also stepped up to help with the fundraiser and assembly day. Subway donated free subs to the class that raised the most money, while Greco treated the school to pizza, Vanco donated flowers to the teachers and Tim Horton’s chipped in with some coffee.

Lynn Docherty said Trayton’s family is very touched by the actions of his schoolmates.

“To the family, it’s something that will always keep Trayton’s (memory) alive,’’ she said. “They’re still suffering and they will be forever, and this is a way of helping them. They have a whole community grieving with them and they always will. They have so much support behind them and it means the world to them that people aren’t forgetting.

“It was something Trayton would have liked. He was a very active child. He played soccer, he loved his school and it was very fitting that his school did something to represent him in heart month.’’

The foundation also held a fundraising dance at the Belfast Rec Centre, which Trayton’s parents attended. That event pulled in another $1,625.

“I’m quite impressed,’’ Docherty said. “It just shows how much support the family has . . . it was a bittersweet moment (for Trayton’s parents).’’

Docherty said the intent is to make Toonies for Trayton an annual event at the school.

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