An online crowdfunding effort to assist a mother whose two young sons died after falling through a Wisconsin pond’s thin ice last week is surging with contributions from people helping to pay for planned funerals and memorials for the elementary school students.
People have been rallying around Kiana Sims and the GoFundMe account she created this week just days after her sons – Antwon “Junior” Sims, Jr., 6, and Legend Loyal Sims, 8 – died from complications following their fall through an icy pond on Friday after school near the capital city of Madison.
According to a Facebook post from The Black Men Coalition of Dane County, Antwon fell through the ice first and Legend tried to save him, ultimately resulting in both of their deaths. They were hospitalized in critical condition shortly afterward, but Legend died on Saturday and Anton died on Monday.
“We are shocked to hear of the events that led to a tragic death – being dropped off by the school bus in front of a retention pond by Wild Woods apt. that had no protection around it,” the Facebook post said in part.
A spokesperson for the Sun Prairie School District told the Wisconsin State Journal that the bus stop where Antwon and Legend were let off “is not located in front of the retention pond” in which they fell.
More from the Wisconsin State Journal:
Under school district policy, adults must meet children in the district’s 4-year-old kindergarten program at the school bus stop, but there is no similar requirement for any of the older grades. For them, the policy says, “the parent/caregiver or designee is responsible for the safety of his/her student until the student boards the bus for school and resumes responsibility for the student when he/she gets off the bus on the return trip.”
Sun Prairie assistant police chief Shunta Boston said Tuesday that her department did not know yet whether any adults had been there to meet Antwon and Legend on Friday afternoon, but that the department’s investigation was not yet concluded.
Madison Ald. Sabrina Madison said the boys’ family had been receiving services at her nonprofit, the Progress Center for Black Women, and in the wake of the boys’ death it is hoping to encourage fencing around Madison-area and Dane County retention ponds so that what happened to Antwon and Legend doesn’t happen to other children.
“The public is questioning why wasn’t there barriers, and the public is asking for barriers, and so it’s important for the public to be engaged in this process over the next couple of months,” she said.
Kiana Sims, the boys’ mother, wrote on the GoFundMe she set up that her sons’ “sudden and tragic departure has left a profound void in the lives of their family, friends, and community. As we grapple with this unimaginable loss, we are reaching out to our extended network for support in organizing a memorial and funeral to honor the precious lives of these two beautiful souls.”
Sims added: “They were taken from us far too soon. Their bright smiles, infectious laughter, and boundless energy touched the lives of all who knew them. They were beloved sons, brothers, friends, and classmates. Their absence has left an indelible mark on our hearts, and we are committed to ensuring that they are remembered with the love and dignity they deserve.”
The response to Kiana Sims’ plea for help has been answered resoundingly as the $50,000 GoFundMe goal has been exceeded.
As of Wednesday morning, more than $67,000 has been raised.
Kiana Sims’ GoFundMe can be found by clicking here.
The post GoFundMe Soars For Mom After 2 Young Sons Die From Falling Through City-Owned Pond’s Thin Ice In Wisconsin appeared first on NewsOne.