Public school pavilion dedicated to 8-year-old student who succumbed to cancer last year

RIDEAU LAKES — South Crosby Public School (SCPS) — part of the Upper Canada District School Board — hosted a dedication ceremony on Tuesday, September 18 to officially honour the memory of Parker Simpson.

The school’s Park it with Parker Pavilion campaign produced the structure which will act as an outdoor classroom and provide a place for students to sit and make friends. They built it to honour Simpson, an 8-year-old SCPS student who passed away from cancer in February 2017.

“It’s rewarding to do this for this little guy and his family because he’ll always be remembered,” said Principal Monique Antoine-Hartley. “But it’s also a bittersweet kind of feeling. You’re happy it’s done, but you really wish we hadn’t had to do it at all.”

The wooden pavilion has a memorial plaque and is decorated with a Star Wars theme – a homage to Parker’s favourite movie franchise. On the inside of the canopy there are pictures of Star Wars characters along with memorable quotes attributed to them. Standing in the corner of the pavilion is a life-sized carved wooden statue of a stormtrooper.

Fundraising was required to build the structure with both the school and the community at large making donations.

“This is an example of a community with a big heart coming together and showing their love for this little guy and his family,” added Antoine-Hartley. “We can’t do anything to bring him back, but we can show them all how much we loved him.”

The pavilion will be equipped with two large benches, which will arrive for installation today.

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