When Riley Fairholm lost his life tragically at the hands of police during a mental health crisis on July 25, 2018 at just 17-years-old, the entire community was deeply saddened and people wanted to find a way to commemorate his life. The community rallied to organize a concert where various local artists performed to raise money in his honour. Tracey Wing, Fairholm’s mother, decided to donate the money to Dunham House, a residential treatment centre for individuals suffering from mental health disorders and addiction. Now Dunham House is looking to give back by using the funds to create the Riley Fairholm Scholarship to be awarded to two Massey-Vanier High School (MVHS) students on the English side.
“Right after someone dies, people want to give money away and I didn’t want to accept money. I felt very weird about doing that,” explained Wing. “I know some of my friends, Jessica and Sarah, had a singing event at Coldbrook Park. Angel Forest and Mannix sang, Sarah Biggs, and quite a lot of people from the community came. People always want to do something when someone dies. All the kids were hanging out where Riley passed, and it was a lot for the parents, a lot for everybody, and they decided to do this event. I was deciding where to put the money.”