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200 mourners attend funeral for boy killed at crosswalk





A GoFundMe drive to help raise money to cover the funeral costs for a small boy struck dead at a St. Vital crosswalk last Tuesday has met its goal.

The GoFundMe drive had reached $10,200 by supper on Saturday. Its target was $10,000. Sunday is the last day for those still wanting to donate.

"People from all walks of life are helping this campaign," said Purna Satpathy, a friend of the family who launched the fundraising drive.

"I'm really thankful to everyone who can give big or small. They are very needy people and very unfortunate," Satpathy said.

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A GoFundMe drive to help raise money to cover the funeral costs for a small boy struck dead at a St. Vital crosswalk last Tuesday has met its goal.

The GoFundMe drive had reached $10,200 by supper on Saturday. Its target was $10,000. Sunday is the last day for those still wanting to donate.

Surafiel Musse Tesfamariam</p>

Surafiel Musse Tesfamariam

"People from all walks of life are helping this campaign," said Purna Satpathy, a friend of the family who launched the fundraising drive.

"I'm really thankful to everyone who can give big or small. They are very needy people and very unfortunate," Satpathy said.

Surafiel Musse Tesfamariam, 8, was walking with his mother to school at about 8:20 a.m. on Tuesday when a silver truck sped through the crosswalk and ran into him. The boy was rushed to a hospital where he was pronounced dead.

Satpathy described the Saturday funeral for the little boy as "very painful."

The funeral for Surafiel, his parents eldest son, was held at the St. Michael Eritrean Orthodox Tewahdo Church. About 200 people packed the church on Dufferin Avenue. Females took their places on one side of the church and males on the other. Christian murals filled the front walls, more brightly coloured than in many churches.

People stood for almost the entire 70-minute service. Most of the service was praying and chanting by spiritual leaders at the front, all in the native Eritrean language. The scent of burning incense filled the air.

A man at the end of the service spoke briefly in English, asking the congregation to support Surafiel's family to help them heal. A burial service followed at St. Vital Cemetery, followed by a reception.

The little boy's obituary in the program reads: "Our precious little angel Surafiel Musse Tesfamariam, beloved son of Adiam L. Weldeyohannes and Musse T. Meles, went to be with our Lord on Tuesday February 12, 2018."

He was a Grade 3 student at Varennes Elementary School. The obituary described him as a very active boy who "loved swimming, being outdoors, going on sleigh rides and spending time with his siblings, family and friends."

He has two brothers and a sister.

"Surafiel offered to the world his unconditional love," the obituatry continued. "He smiled throughout these eight years and five months, bringing joy and happiness to his family and everyone he touched."

The family also thanked numerous organizations including the Eritrean community, the St. Michael church, Winnipeg Fire Service and Paramedics, Health Sciences Children's Hospital, the Winnipeg Police Service, Ecole Varennes staff and students, St. Mary's Road United Church administration, and "all families and friends who came from all over and made this unbearable moment possible to overcome."

To donate, go to GoFundMe.com and search under "Surafiel."

billl.redekop@freepress.mb.ca

Read more by Bill Redekop .


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