WILLMAR, Minn. (WCCO) — A first-grader’s untimely death has a community and elementary school coming together in a powerful way.
Six year-old Julian Demarce died tragically two weeks ago. A television set fell on top of the child and killed him.READ MORE: VIDEO: MnDOT Cams Show Tanker Rollover, Milk Spill North Of Twin Cities
Julian’s death prompted his classmates at Roosevelt Elementary School, and the entire community, to bond together to help the family though a tough time.
A first-grade teacher in Wilmar went out of her way to help the family of one of her students who died tragically. Amber Erickson not only went to North Dakota to say goodbye to Julian Demarce, she is also making sure his family has the help and support they need.
Mrs. Erickson’s first grade class is forever changed now that one is missing.
“His eyes just sparkled,” she said. “When he smiled, it lit up the room. He was such a sweet child.”
Erickson says Julian Demarce was one of 20 children in her first grade classroom.
“He was quiet,” she said. “I felt like I was just starting to get him out of his shell. He would open up, he would particpate.”
Erickson says he was a silent leader — many of the students in room 408 gravitated toward his warmth.READ MORE: Next Weather: Dry Start In Twin Cities, Showers Later On, Severe Storms Possible On Thursday
“He had such a kind heart,” she said.
Erickson says Julian’s smile and friendly spirit made him “that special kid.” It also makes it much harder to accept the fact that he’s gone.
The news had many of his classmates and their parents asking what they could do to help.
Erickson had students make cards for Julian’s family. She then made it so the entire school and community could take part in helping this family deal with their loss.
“I wanted to give back to the family somehow, so this is a way I felt the community could partake in, so I went and I set it up,” she said.
Erickson set up a GoFundMe page to help Julian’s family. The school is also planning a memorial, as a permanent reminder near a place Julian loved to go.
“We are going to plant a tree tomorrow afternoon,” school counselor Cheryl Bosch said. “He loved playing on the playground – active, energetic child and we want kids to have that memory.”MORE NEWS: Proctor High School Football Player Pleads Guilty To Sexual Assault
Students will tie blue ribbons, Julian’s favorite color, to the tree. Julian’s family has also been invited to the ceremony.