SOUTH ST. LOUIS COUNTY, MO (KTVI) – South St. Louis County children are mourning the loss of a classmate killed this month in an accident.
Students at Sappington Elementary are sharing their heartache in a unique way.
Youngsters and their parents have been taking turns all day Friday outside this Lindbergh District school manning a giant lemonade booth to raise funds to help pay for the child's funeral.
Lonnie Avent, 9, was struck and killed by a car while playing near a relative's home in north St. Louis a week ago.
The third grader attended Sappington Elementary in south St. Louis County.
He will be laid to rest Saturday and the family had been requesting donations in lieu of flowers to help pay for the burial costs.
Fifth graders at Lonnie's school decided they wanted to help meet that need.
Fifth grader Joseph Amrein explains, "Lonnie was awesome. We loved to play, loved to play on PlayStation Two and he always had that smile and laughter on his face."
Sappington Principal Craig Hamby added, "I think they are going to learn how to truly serve others. It's an experience they'll remember for the rest of their lives, how they were able to step up and help somebody out."
Parent Kimberly Amrein said, "We've had a couple five hundred dollar checks, lots of hundred dollars . The money is coming in. It's really amazing how the community has come together to help out this family."
So far, this effort has raised more than $11,000. Donations will be accepted until dark at the school in the 11000 block of Gravois.