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100 march to raise money for boys’ funerals

Jevonte Thomas consoles Ashanti Smith who are brother sister TatianSmith who lost her 2 sons Terri8 Donel 9 Saturday Hobart

Jevonte Thomas consoles Ashanti Smith who are brother and sister of Tatiana Smith, who lost her 2 sons Terrion, 8, and Donel, 9 on Saturday in Hobart on June 18, 2014. | Jim Karczewski/Sun-Times Media

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Funeral services announced

A Gary funeral home is handling the arrangements for Terrion Smith, 8, and Donel Smith, 9, brothers who died Saturday in a Hobart pit.

Visitaation is tentatively scheduled from noon to 8 p.m. July 3 at Manueal Memorial Funeral Home, 421 W. 5th Ave., Gary. The funeral service will be at 11 a.m. July 5 at New Hope Missionary Baptist Church, 2307 Rhode Island St., Gary.

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Updated: July 21, 2014 3:53PM



HOBART — Friends, family, teachers, a pastor and his wife — about 100 people in all — marched Wednesday night from the water-filled pit that claimed the lives of two young brothers to their home in Gary, hoping to raise the money needed for their funerals and burials.

“It’s not over. We’ll be here until July 1,” the boys’ mother, Tatiana Smith, told the crowd gathered in front of her small house in the 3900 block of Louisiana Street, where the march concluded.

Smith said July 1 is the deadline for having the money needed to pay for the visitation and burials for her sons Terrion Smith, 8, and Donel Smith, 9.

“Hopefully, we’ll be able to beat the deadline. I appreciate anything anyone can do to help,” said Smith, who organized the march.

The boys drowned Saturday night while playing by the water with other children — Donel reportedly while trying to save Terrion. The boys were throwing rocks in the water when Terrion slipped in, according to some of the marchers.

“Donel died a hero, saving his brother,” Elizabeth Renta, Terrion’s teacher, said.

Renta said the family received about $1,000 in donations in a 24-hour period, but it’s a long way to the approximately $14,000 needed for the funeral costs.

The viewing is tentatively scheduled from noon to 8 p.m. July 3 at Manueal Memorial Funeral Home, 421 W. 5th Ave., Gary. The funeral service will be at 11 a.m. July 5 at New Hope Missionary Baptist Church, 2307 Rhode Island in Gary.

Several of the marchers held jars, some of which were filled with dollar bills and coins donated by other marchers and passing motorists. The march included a candlelight vigil at the pit in the 4000 block of Missouri Street.

Smith said she doesn’t blame anyone for the boys’ deaths.

One of the marchers, Pamela Carter, believes Hobart should pay for the burials.

“The city of Hobart needs to take care of everything. These are the kids of young parents. They have no money, no insurance,” Carter said.

She noted the long walk the boys took to get to the pit.

“They walked all this way, just to have something to do,” Carter said. “... It’s a tragic accident. We just need someone to come forth and help bury these kids.”

Renta said a savings account has been set up at Chase Bank to assist the family with funeral expenses. Donations can be made to the “Smith Children of Gary, Ind., Memorial Fund” at any Chase branch.

Contributing: Teresa
Auch Schultz



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