A community event was held in Fort Saskatchewan Sunday night, to support a local family mourning the loss of one-year-old Ares Starrett.
Starrett died on Nov. 23 after RCMP and EMS responded to a 911 call of a one-year-old boy who was in medical distress.
The boy was taken to hospital with serious injuries, where he was pronounced dead. His father, 30-year-old Damien Christopher Starrett, has since been charged with second-degree murder in the boy’s death.
On Sunday night, members of the Fort Saskatchewan community came together to hold a “dinner for a cause” at Ken’s Catering. Volunteers put on the dinner and silent auction, with all proceeds going to Starrett’s mother and family.
“It was a very personal attachment for us as well, not just from our business side but we wanted to give back to the family as much as we could personally,” organizer Kelsey Keefler said.
“I can’t even imagine it happening to us. We have three young children ourselves. For anybody to have to go through what she’s gone through — no matter how much money we raise through this, it’s not going to ease her grief by any means — but at least she knows that there’s lots of support behind her.”
More than 60 silent auction items were donated by local residents and businesses. Key chains with a message aimed at ending domestic violence were also for sale. All the money raised will go to Starrett’s mother, to help with funeral costs and other unexpected expenses.
“To create something special for a person in need, or a family in need — that’s all it is. That’s the spirit of what we’re doing,” Ken’s Catering owner Steven Ken Dalida said.
A similar “dinner for a cause” was held in Fort Saskatchewan last year, for a local woman diagnosed with two brain tumors. Keefler said that dinner and silent auction raised about $5,000. This year, organizers were hoping to surpass that amount.