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Saturday June 6th, 2015

Posted at 7:41pm

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Toddy Jones Park and The Kings Navy Yard in Amherstburg were filled with laughter, tears and the heart of a strong community as hundreds walked the streets connecting the two locations in memory of a young mother’s death.

The Corey Meloche Memorial Walk and Run began shortly after Corey died in a snowmobiling accident on January 10th, 2010. Corey was the passenger on a snowmobile during a cruel winter night and when the driver hit the ditch Corey didn’t walk away from the accident. She is survived by her son, Ben, who at the time was just 11 months old. He is now six and has participated in the walk each year with Corey’s family.

Bev Bondy, a family member and friend said she hears constantly of Ben’s antics and said he is a very energetic young boy surrounded by love.

“I wasn’t close to Corey but I was close to other people,” said Bondy. “I was there the night that she did pass away with the friends that were close to her. Anybody’s death who’s young is going to affect you in terms of the sadness of it all and the tragedy of it all … it was a very, very difficult experience. Knowing how it affected all the young people involved makes you more aware of things.”

While the walk was initially began to raise money for Corey’s son, the Meloche’s changed the goal of the fundraiser in the second year to benefit the community who came together to support them when they lost their daughter. For the last five years, the money raised through the walk is divided into bursaries given to the local high school students where Corey was so involved. The bursary is called The Corey Meloche Memorial Bursary.

Dan Pettypiece, retired coach of the General Amherst Girls Hockey Team, and his team always make a respectful effort to show their support at the annual event. Corey was the first captain of the girl’s hockey team at General Amherst and she, along with Pettypiece, made sure the team took off.

Heather Lenson, a grade 11 General Amherst High School student and member of the girl’s hockey team, was in the sixth grade when Corey died. She said Corey’s death has inspired her and the other girls on the team to be better players so they make sure a good number of them come out each and every year.

“I was playing hockey when I found out, it was right before a game and I was about to go on the ice and my mom came into the dressing room and told me that she passed away. It was really upsetting,” said Lenson. “Corey Meloche was the one who really got the school to start the hockey team so we participate in the walk to remember her because she’s the one who inspired us to play on the hockey team.”

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