New Castle News

Closer Look

November 29, 2012

Benefits planned to aid boy’s family

NEW CASTLE — The death of a little boy has touched area residents this holiday season.

Community members and organizations are mobilizing to support the child’s family and help them meet funeral and other expenses.

Winslow Avenue resident Octavius Stone, 7, died Sunday after he and another boy were struck by a pickup truck while playing in a yard.

The driver, 66-year-old Virgil Coonfare, has been charged with homicide by vehicle while driving under the influence, aggravated assault while driving under the influence and driving under the influence.

About 70 people attended a candlelight vigil Tuesday night at the scene of the accident on Winslow Avenue.

The New Castle police department has donated a badge to the family of the youngster, who had a dream to one day become a police officer or fireman. It will be presented to the family Friday at Allegheny Wesleyan Methodist Church.

Others wishing to show support for the family are invited to walk through Cascade Park on Saturday morning.

Sam Flora, athletic director at New Castle High School, and his wife, Connie, have taken the lead in setting up the benefit.

Flora noted Octavius was a classmate of his granddaughter in second grade at Thaddeus Stevens Primary Center.

Diane Dattilo and her daughter, Brandi, are assisting with the event.

A donation of $10 will be asked from each walker. Registration will begin at 8 a.m. with the walk to begin at 9.

Flora said proceeds from the event will be given to the Stone family to help defray expenses.

“It will be a humble walk through the park, starting at the pavilion,” said Flora, who hopes warmer temperatures forecast for the weekend will increase the turnout.

Flora said the Rev. Richard Nero will offer a prayer prior to the walk.

Mayor Anthony Mastrangelo said Wednesday all donations from Monday night’s Cascade of Lights at Cascade Park will be donated to Octavius’ family to defray any costs they may have.

The Cascade of Lights will run from 5 to 8 p.m. Mastrangelo also said any monetary donation will be accepted.

In addition, a fund has been established at PNC Bank. Anyone who would like to contribute may send a check to the bank at 2802 Wilmington Road, or visit any bank branch.

Checks should be made out to “Octavius Stone Memorial Fund.”

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