But those who came out to meet, greet and eat at the Markham Station Restaurant in Scarborough Friday didn’t come just for the food.
They were there to honour the memory of a brave 11-year-old’s sacrifice and to ensure his name isn’t forgotten.
Up until December 10th, Birunthan Muralidaran Nadarajah was a normal little boy doing the things most kids do. He was on his way to a pick-up soccer game when his friend, 15-year-old Kishoban Alakeswaran, ventured out onto some thin ice and fell through.
His pal went to rescue him but both boys perished in the attempt.
But Birunthan’s bravery has not gone unnoticed. A scholarship has been established in his name to ensure his heroic act is never fogotten. And all funds raised from the breakfast at the eatery between 6am and noon went towards the cause.
The boy’s father is still struggling with the aftermath of losing his son, but finds the outpouring of support comforting.
“As a parent, we are running through the hard time, but when we do these kinds of good things, the memory of Birunthan, when the media says he’s a hero, it gives comfort,” assures Muralitharan Nadarajah.
Alakeswaran’s father was also at the event on Friday, and the two men gave each other an emotional hug, a testament to the fact they belong to a club no one ever wants to join.
Paramedics who tried to rescue the pair came to pay their respects, too.
“It’s unnerving,” agrees Ed Owens who was at Morningside and Finch when the boys fell into the pond. “Since that day, I think about it every night – every night! It still haunts me.”
In the end, $12,000 was raised by Councillor Raymond Cho and the restaurant for the scholarship fund.
Cho is also pledging to have the park where the youngster played soccer renamed in his honour.
If you’d like to make a donation to the fund, call (416) 392-4078.
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