Candlelight vigil honors teen who drowned in Portage
By Maria Amante email@example.com/648-3072 July 14, 2012 10:22PM
Richard Biesboer, a family friend of Corey McFry holds a lantern ready for flight with the words "In Memory of Corey 2012" written on the side at the Portage Lakefront & Riverwalk on Saturday July 14, 2012. | Jim Karczewski~for Sun-Times Media
Updated: August 17, 2012 7:04AM
PORTAGE — After Corey McFry’s drowned last week, his friend Rebecca Moore wanted to make sure he was given a proper, respectful sendoff.
Moore, 13, on Saturday said 15-year-old McFry was like a brother to her, and that’s why she organized a memorial vigil at the Lake Michigan beach where he died.
McFry was swimming at Portage Lakefront and Riverwalk about 200 yards from shore on a sandbar when he went under water Sunday. His body was found in the water near Ogden Dunes on Tuesday morning.
“He came over to my house all the time,” Moore said. “He was different from other kids. He didn’t care what everybody else thought. He loved everybody, even the people who talked bad about him.”
More than 70 people came to the memorial at the lakefront to observe a moment of silence on McFry’s behalf and to send 16 lanterns into the sky, one for each year of his life and the birthday he was to miss in December.
“It’s a big deal, losing somebody, when you’re close to someone,” Moore said. “It’s bigger than anything; it killed me inside.”
McFry’s best friend, Chris Loar, 15, said it was cool to see all the people at the beach to remember Corey.
“I’ll always remember him,” he said, softly. “He was my best friend, how could I forget?”
Aleacia Sexton, 12, said she knew Corey for three years, and fought off tears as she sent one of the lanterns into the sky.
“It’s another way to keep him a little longer,” Sexton said. “Another thing to help me remember him. This brings all of his closest friends together.
Tonya Adams, Moore’s mother, said Corey was like a son to her.
“He didn’t knock — he just came in, said ‘Ma, I’m making a sandwich!’ ” she said. “He was one of my family, like any other child.”
Donations for the family can be made at First Source Bank, with checks payable to “Benefit of Corey McFry.”