‘I thought it was just amazing’
Students remember classmate with donation, tribute
Betty Lou Hooper was online when she saw something that brought a lump to her throat.
A group of students at the Nova Scotia Community College’s Marconi campus was holding a charity slots tournament to remember their friend Tyler, who had been tragically killed in an accident in November. Tyler was Hooper’s son. “I thought it was just amazing,” Hooper said. “They took this on — the second-year business class at NSCC — without me even knowing. I only saw it when it popped up on Facebook and I thought, I want a ticket. And I actually went through them to get a ticket. They asked me for no help. They took it on themselves and decided that the Canadian Diabetes Association was going to be the recipient and I thought for them to do that, that was awesome.” Tyler, 19, the son of Betty Lou and Glenn Hooper of Howie Centre, was part of the business administration program at NSCC, and according to fellow student Elizabeth Arsenault, he was a popular student.
“He was close to all of us,” said Arsenault. “He was such a likable person.”
When the students learned about the accident, “it moved all of us,” said Arsenault. “It brought us all together.” The students, led by Arsenault and Rob Bourque, decided to remember their classmate by organizing a charity event that would raise money for something that personally affected him — diabetes. Tyler had been diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes when he was seven and he had been a volunteer for the local organization for most of his life, according to Arlene Parsons, the Cape Breton branch co-ordinator.
“Tyler was really good to volunteer for us, even in his early teenaged years and just up until he died,” said Parsons. “That commitment that he had to the association was ongoing.”
Hooper has fond memories of canvassing with her son for the association, something they did together since he was 12.
“He would do half the street and I would do the other,” said Hooper. “Everyone on the street knew him — he’d be joking with everyone.”
The event in memory of Tyler was hosted by Casino Nova Scotia on June 13 and ended up raising $ 2,340 for the Canadian Diabetes Association.
“When the students presented me with the cheque for $2,340, we all decided it would be designated for camps,” said Parsons. “We have some people going to camps who may not necessarily be able to af- ford it and so it’s put in a camp fund and it’s going to be used to enhance the camp experience for them, or what it can be used for is to provide financial assistance for people who cannot necessarily afford it.
“Because no child is ever turned away from a diabetes camp.”
Hooper says Tyler also attended the camp and would approve of what his classmates have done.
As well, the NSCC students also had a bench crafted in Hooper’s memory and it remains on the NSCC Marconi campus, with a plaque to remember him.
“When the students presented me with the cheque for $ 2,340, we all decided it would be designated for camps.” Arlene Parsons
Arlene Parsons, from left, Cape Breton branch co-ordinator for the Canadian Diabetes Association, accepts a cheque in memory of Tyler Hooper from Nova Scotia Community College classmates Rob Bourque and Elizabeth Arsenault while Hooper’s parents, Betty Lou and Glenn Hooper, look on.