Hundreds of people gathered in Conception Bay South on Friday afternoon to show their support for the family of six-year-old Sam Porter, who died Sunday at a popular swimming hole in Seal Cove.
Sam — Sammy to friends and family — is being remembered as an athlete and major sports fan.
Supporters lined both side of Graham Mifflen Drive, near the town's newest arena, wearing hockey and baseball jerseys and carrying hockey sticks and baseball bats to remember Sam, who had recently finished kindergarten.
Adam Gear, Sam's uncle and godfather, said it's been a week filled with support from the community.
"If it wasn't for everybody in this community, it would have been a lot harder of a week and we wouldn't have been able to get through it," he said.
"Every little bit of help, every little acknowledgement, everyone dropping off food, it all helps at the end of the day."
A family motorcade of five vehicles rolled down Graham Mifflen Drive to acknowledge the support from the hundreds in attendance.
Hockey sticks clapped on the sidewalks and street as each vehicle rolled slowly by.
"It's amazing for the community support and everyone to come out at 3:30 on a Friday afternoon to show my little nephew a sendoff," he said. "How much he's touched everyone around here, it's amazing."
Donations, playground addition
Community members also started a GoFundMe campaign to support the Porter family and to expand the playground at Admiral's Academy in Sam's memory. As of mid-Friday afternoon just over $54,000 had been raised.
Conception Bay South Mayor Darrin Bent said everywhere he went this week residents opened up to him about the tragedy.
"Talking to Sammy's mom yesterday, I can tell you that Sammy was a young boy who lived his life to the fullest," Bent said.
"I hope that that can give people comfort knowing that."
Bent said the Town of Conception Bay South will support the effort in making additions to the playground in memory of Sam.
"I think that's a fitting tribute, a lasting tribute and if there's any way that the town can assist along with that, we will of course," Bent said.