On Nov. 14, Melissa and Layla MacDonald died in a car accident in Cardigan.
Coaches, parents, and football players from around the province gathered on a rain-soaked field in Rollo Bay, P.E.I., on Friday to say their final goodbyes to Melissa MacDonald and her eight-year-old daughter, Layla.
The accident in Cardigan last Sunday was still fresh in the minds of the more than 50 individuals who attended the memorial, many of whom were involved in the Island football community.
“Horrible in a word,” said Justin Dunn, a coach with the Charlottetown Privateers football team. “At the same time, there’s a strong family group in the football community, and I think that’s very evident behind us here today with the number of people that are assembled from right across P.E.I. to celebrate the lives of two amazing individuals.”
MacDonald was a coach for the Souris Wildcats football club, and her daughter Layla was a popular young player.
Football was a family affair that brought people together from all across the province.
“She started coaching one year ago to train with the Privateers in Charlottetown because there wasn’t a programme for her son Alex in Souris,” vigil organiser Colleen Henderson said.
“She then came up here and coached Atom football as well as being the trainer for the Bantam and Varsity teams, and she was an incredible coach. She is an incredible woman.”
On the electronic banner outside Layla’s school, La-Belle-Cloche, were two red roses — one large, one small.
Some of those who attended the vigil wore football jerseys or tie-dye, which were Layla’s favourite colours.
” Layla always had a big smile on her face, from one side of her face to the other, whenever you met her “, Dunn stated.
“Layla was a fierce competitor on the football field in her own right. She suited up in the flag and tackled for herself, and they’ll be deeply missed.”
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