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Community rallies support for family of Riker Mckelvey

Ten-year-old died on Tuesday while cycling to school in a collision involving a school bus.
A memorial at the corner of Clarkson Street and Red River Road in honour of 10-year-old Riker Mckelvey, continues to grow. The youngster was killed on Tuesday, May 23, 2023 in a collision with a school bus. (Leith Dunick,

THUNDER BAY — A pair of online fundraisers in memory of a 10-year-old boy who was killed in a collision with a school bus earlier this week have raised more than $50,000 and counting.

Joe Kolic and Krystal Zaporzan have each started GoFundMe pages for Riker Mckelvey, who was on his way to school Tuesday morning when the tragedy occurred.

“Riker was a fun-loving, energetic, and outgoing young boy with an infectious smile who loved to skateboard and spend time at the Cinema5 skatepark. He was a Grade 5 student at CD Howe School and would have celebrated his 11th birthday on June 1,” Kolic writes.

Money from his GoFundMe page will be used to help ease the financial burdens being faced by the family, as well as helping them find a meaningful way to honour Riker’s life.

Zaporzan’s GoFundMe was begun to help the family deal with the nightmare of losing a child.

“If you had the pleasure of meeting Riker, like I did, you know what kind of child he was. I didn’t know him well, but he was always a joy to be around,” adding she’s known Riker’s mother since college.

“Riker was her world. Every single thing she did was for Riker. You couldn’t have a conversation with her without it involving Riker.”

A large memorial has been set up at the corner of Red River Road and Clarkson Street.

A joint fundraiser is also being held on Sunday morning, put on by Studio 449 and Intrinsic Fitness. Studio 449 will be doing walk-in tattoos, starting at 10 a.m. and Intrinsic Fitness will be doing massages and fitness classes by donation, with times and more information available on their @intrinsic.tbay Instagram page. 

All proceeds will be given to the family to help them during this tragic time. 

The Rainbow Collective is also planning a fundraiser, matching up to $500 in donations made at either the Pride sign pick-up or a planned Solidarity Rally on Saturday on Arthur Street West. 

Leith Dunick

About the Author: Leith Dunick

A proud Nova Scotian who has called Thunder Bay home since 2002, Leith is Dougall Media's director of news, but still likes to tell your stories too. Wants his Expos back and to see Neil Young at least one more time. Twitter: @LeithDunick
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