Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Funeral home does boy's service for free

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There will be no charge for a memorial service to mourn a Winnipeg boy who died after being partially buried in snow.

The service for nine-year-old Andy Xu was to be held Thursday evening at Voyage Funeral Home, 220 Hespeler Ave., at the corner of Henderson Highway.

Voyage is waiving its funeral service fee.

"We do services for children for free," said owner Mike Vogiatzakis. "It's one of the deals I made with God when I got into this business. Why should the family carry the burden of burying a child and then have to pay the funeral home?

"We're showing the family there are people who care. This has touched so many people. We've all got kids and they've all played in the snow.

"This isn't about business. It's about showing love and support for a family."

The boy is an only child and the family is new to Canada.

He was rushed to hospital in critical condition last week after a snowbank on the front yard of his Fort Richmond home collapsed on top of him.

Police believe the boy was digging a snow fort or a tunnel when the bank gave way.

It's not known how long he was in the snow prior to being discovered by his mother.

Neighbours said they heard the mother screaming for help and quickly rushed out to help dig the boy out. When he was pulled out, someone began administering CPR until paramedics arrived.

The boy, who attended Ryerson School in Fort Richmond, was removed from life support over the weekend.

Many of his young classmates were expected at the service.

 

-- staff

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition January 24, 2014 B7

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