Last month, six-year-old Kameron Cooke passed away suddenly, the result of a complication similar to a brain aneurysm.
It was a loss that was not only felt by those close to the outgoing youngster who loved fishing and hockey, but one that stretched across the Island and touched almost everyone, especially parents with little ones of their own.
The sudden passing prompted the grieving and those who wanted to show their support, in some way, to Kameron’s parents and extended family, to start Facebook pages and to write their condolences on media websites where the tragic story had been told.
Soon, as often happens on this amazing Island of ours, there was a movement afoot to do more than just write words of sympathy.
Friends, family and neighbours of the Cooke family began organizing a fundraising event with the focus being the sport that little Kameron loved most — hockey.
A Facebook page dedicated to the event quickly came alive with people wanting to help, some even off Island who wanted to donate something for auction or make a donation in Kameron’s memory.
This past Saturday night, hundreds of Islanders filled the seats at O’Leary Community Centre in an outpouring of support like no other for the Kameron Cooke Memorial Hockey Game.
Kameron’s own parents, Brittanie and Kyle, were on hand for the event, taking to the ice prior to the game between the Cooke Family and RCMP to express their gratitude to the Island community for being their in their darkest time.
Kyle, a well-known hockey player in these parts, even took to the ice in his son’s memory and helped bring the Cooke Family to victory against the RCMP team.
In what was the most moving aspect of the night, little Kameron’s jersey was retired, a show of respect for the little boy who, as his mother so eloquently put it, touched so many lives.
At the end of the night, after hockey jerseys were auctioned off, tickets sold and donations collected, more than $28,000 was raised for Kameron’s family.
But more important than money was the showing of support that, we, as an Island community, displayed.
It’s the Island way, to extend a hand to help those in need, provide a shoulder to lean on and, when needed, raise money to help others, even if we don’t know them, through rough times.
What a fitting way for Islanders to kick off and celebrate a long weekend that was capped off with Islander Day.