Offering love and support. Neighbors in the Elkhorn, Nebraska, estate that the Graves family calls home have wrapped blue ribbons around trees in memory of Lane Graves, the 2-year-old killed by an alligator at Walt Disney World on Tuesday, June 14.
Members of the Ranch View Estates community have placed hundreds of ribbons on mailboxes, trees and doors in a show of support for the family, KETV reports.
Volunteers are also coordinating a “meal train” and making arrangements to babysit Lane’s 4-year-old sister, Ella.
“The people here are very warm, and there’s definitely been a lot of outpour for the family,” neighbor Tom Stokes told KETV. “And I think everyone can relate to the time they’ve been to Disney World, taken their family there.”
As Us Weekly previously reported, Lane was wading in the shallows of the Seven Seas Lagoon at the Grand Floridian Resort & Spa at Disney World in Orlando, Florida, as his family enjoyed an outdoor movie on Tuesday night when an alligator snatched him.
His father, Matt, tried to grab his son back from the animal but was unsuccessful. Lane’s body was found intact 16 hours later by authorities, not far from where he had been taken. An autopsy later concluded that the toddler died from “drowning and traumatic injuries.”
Matt and his wife, Melissa, issued a statement on Thursday, June 16.
“Words cannot describe the shock and grief our family is experiencing over the loss of our son,” they said. “We are devastated and ask for privacy during this extremely difficult time. To all of the local authorities and staff who worked tirelessly these past 24 hours, we express our deepest gratitude.”
KMTV reports that locals will be holding a “Lemonade for Lane” fundraiser on Friday, June 17, from noon to 5 p.m. at Elkhorn Valley View Middle School to raise funds for a memorial for the 2-year-old.
While a GoFundMe page has raised more than $47,000 for the family, Omaha.com reports that the Graves family is asking for any donations or cards to be sent to St. Patrick’s Catholic Church in Elkhorn.
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