‘What a won­der­ful tribute to Ebony’

The Beacon Herald - - NEWS - ANDY BADER POST­MEDIA NEWS NET­WORK

The 5th an­nual Seize the Day run/walk to sup­port epilepsy ed­u­ca­tion and com­mu­nity en­gage­ment pro­grams re­ceived a $6,000 boost with the merger of two Mitchell and area teams in mem­ory of Ebony Kay.

Kay, a 13-year-old Mitchell teen, died July 3, one day after be­ing pulled un­con­scious from a small pond at Wood­land Lake camp­ground north of Brod­ha­gen after ap­par­ently suf­fer­ing a seizure while swim­ming.

Less than one week ear­lier, she had grad­u­ated from Grade 8 at Mitchell District High School.

Friends and fam­ily to­talling 60 peo­ple of all ages en­tered two teams – Eb’s An­gels and We Love Ebony – and walked to­gether in her mem­ory at the Sept. 30 event in Lon­don, and do­na­tions to­gether fell just shy of $6,000. Fur­ther do­na­tions re­ceived dur­ing a small cer­e­mony on Nov. 24 at the Mitchell Gym­nas­tics Club, where Ebony was a mem­ber, pushed that amount to ex­actly $6,000.

“I can­not help but feel moved by the love for Ebony that is so ev­i­dent on the faces of those here,” said Deanna Henry, epilepsy ed­u­ca­tion with Epilepsy South­west­ern On­tario that ac­cepted the do­na­tion. “We had the ab­so­lute priv­i­lege of meet­ing Ebony and her fam­ily in clinic and for an epilepsy in­for­ma­tion ses­sion, and were heart­bro­ken to hear the tragic news of Ebony’s pass­ing.”

The Epilepsy South­west­ern On­tario was pleased and hon­oured to be cho­sen to re­ceive the me­mo­rial do­na­tions in Ebony’s mem­ory and “were at a loss for words at the out­pour­ing of do­na­tions in mem­ory of such a beau­ti­ful young girl,” Henry added.

“We would like to ac­knowl­edge the strength that it must have taken to at­tend and the bit­ter­sweet emo­tions that surely ac­com­pa­nied your par­tic­i­pa­tion,” she con­tin­ued. “We want you to know that ev­ery penny that we have re­ceived will be used to pro­vide sup­port and ed­u­ca­tional ser­vices to peo­ple liv­ing with epilepsy, their fam­i­lies and their com­mu­ni­ties. In this way, Ebony’s mem­ory lives on and her legacy helps oth­ers to live well with epilepsy.

“What a won­der­ful tribute to Ebony.”

Jen Daum of Mitchell Gym­nas­tics thanked all those who do­nated and con­trib­uted in any way, men­tion­ing the in­volve­ment of Jenna McClure of Seaforth, who cre­ated pur­ple bracelets and sold them to help the cause. All told, she sold more than 420 and con­trib­uted ap­prox­i­mately $900.

Daum called Ebony “a bless­ing that is beyond words.”

“She was just an amaz­ing young per­son who touched every­one so much just be­cause of how won­der­ful she was. There’s just not enough that I can say and how grate­ful I am that she was such a big part of my life.

“Let’s con­tinue to hon­our her and share her with the world be­cause she’s here, just a lit­tle dif­fer­ently,” Daum said.

A bal­loon re­lease sched­uled to co­in­cide with the an­nounce­ment was can­celled due to in­clement weather, but will be held next year, said Ju­liane Judge.

Next year, the two teams will amal­ga­mate as one for the sixth an­nual event sched­uled for Sept. 29, 2019.

Tim Hor­tons in Mitchell gra­ciously do­nated the re­fresh­ments and snacks for the an­nounce­ment.

ANDY BADER/POST­MEDIA

The Kay fam­ily, on be­half of their daugh­ter and sis­ter Ebony, who trag­i­cally died last July after an epilep­tic seizure, do­nated $6,000 to Deanna Henry (right), epilepsy ed­u­ca­tor with Epilepsy South­west­ern On­tario, Nov. 24 at the Mitchell Gym­nas­tics Club. Pic­tured are Mor­gan (left), Brook­lyn, dad Graeme, El­laina, mom Jes­sica and Bre­anna mak­ing the of­fi­cial pre­sen­ta­tion, pro­ceeds from the 5th an­nual Seize the Day event held Sept. 30.

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