Brunswick: Community mourns, supports crash victims

6:40 PM, Jun 6, 2012   |    comments
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BRUNSWICK -- Thousands lined up to pay their respects to two of the high school students killed in Sunday's crash.

Funeral arrangments announced

The wakes of Jeff Chaya and Blake Bartchak were held Wednesday inside St. Ambrose Catholic Church where the teens and their families were members. Mourners waited in line well before the doors of the church opened at 2 p.m.

"The hope is all of us will be united one day with God in heaven," Fr. Bob Stec, pastor of St. Ambrose, reflected. "That's the only thing that can give a mom or dad whose heart is broken, the comfort that one day they will hold their child again for all eternity."

Stec call the four youngsters who died "great, great kids," and expressed profound sympathy for their families.

"What we want to do today and in these next days is literally blanket these families with prayer and let them know that even in this darkest, most difficult moment, the light of Christ shines bright and the love of this community really stands strong and surrounds them," Stec said before rejoining family members inside his church.

Chaya and Bartchak will be buried from St. Ambrose on Thursday, with funeral services scheduled for 9:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m.

At Brunswick High School there were also long lines on Wednesday, of people purchasing Remembrance T-Shirts designed by a group of just graduated seniors.

Former Brunswick High School teacher Constance Langley, came all the way from Pennsylvania, where she is now retired, to support her grandchildren who attend the high school. She bought shirts for her family.

"I feel so bad and express my condolences to all those families," she said, clutching a shirt with the names of the four youngsters who died in Sunday's crash. "They're going to need all the help they can get and I thought I'd buy some shirts."

Jim Heiser of Bullseye Activewear which is printing the shirts at cost, said 2,000 sold in two hours and another 5,000 were being immediately manufactured. It will mean $70,000 in donations to the families of the five students involved in the crash.



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