SOUTH BERWICK, Maine — Pink balloons blew in the breeze as hundreds of Evalise “Evie” McLean’s friends and family gathered at The Red Barn at Outlook Farm to remember her life at a celebratory ceremony Wednesday evening.
Although a formal occasion, many still had on a splash of Evie’s favorite color: pink.
Evie’s father, Lenroy McLean, stood before a large fireplace decorated with paper flowers, photographs and Evie’s signature pink cowgirl boots as dozens of friends, family and acquaintances filed in to shake his hand, give him a hug and offer their condolences.
McLean stood strong while others broke down in tears.
Many of Evie’s young friends and cheerleading teammates were in attendance and while some struggled to come to terms with her passing, others found comfort in writing notes for her in her memory.
Local residents were as humble Wednesday evening as they have been with their generous donations since the untimely death of the 6-year-old on Sunday.
Evie’s maternal aunt Brooke Chea was again overcome by the outpouring of support from the community, but kindly asked that media respect that the service itself be reserved solely for friends and family as there was limited space inside.
Some sat and mingled, others remained silent and still more stood sharing their stories with one another before the service began. Conversations centered around the feeling that every death is hard, but none so much as the passing of a child; especially in such a tight-knit community.
To donate to the McLean family or leave messages of condolence, visit www.gofundme.com/6qpxfo. The family asks that other donations be made to the Boston Children’s Hospital ICU.
Distributed by MCT Information Services