‘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.


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