The Centennial Collegiate gymnasium, where Quinn Stevenson’s exuberance so often fuelled pep rallies, resounded with cheers, foot-stomping and noisemakers Friday at the memorial celebration of his life.

The 17-year-old, who graduated in June and died in a car crash August 3, was remembered by an estimated 1,350 people who overflowed into the school’s auditorium. Many of the mourners sat in groups with others who wore jerseys from the many teams he belonged to or supported. About 35 of his fellow referees were also there in striped shirts.

The popular teen had been chosen as Senior Watch, one of only two elected positions on the school’s student council, and shared the job of organizing pep rallies with the female Senior Pin. His friends planned the event as a pep rally. Balloons hung from colourful streamers and floated above hundreds of chairs. Mardi Gras beads, coloured leis, plastic golf clubs and noise makers decorated the room, where rock and country music played.

Friends played guitars and sang, and two teams had a tug of war that ended with more cheering and foot stomping. One after another, teens recalled the boy who brightened the atmosphere when he entered a room, who knew the right quip to make everyone laugh, and who laughed at himself, teased his friends and even made doing homework fun.

He had a big laugh and a big voice and he loved being in the limelight. He was in the drama club and intended to become a television sports broadcaster.

“He packed his short life with so much,” said one girl.

“He was a large presence in our school,” said another.

Principal Tom Sargeant said Stevenson was a natural leader who exuded confidence while remaining humble and who made everyone who knew him feel special.

As one boy said, it was a testament to Quinn that so many people considered him their best friend. His love of sports and people made him a valued teammate in hockey, baseball, badminton, curling, and refereeing. He was the pitcher for the Saskatoon Blue Jays, who recently won the Midget AA City Championship. He was his dad’s favourite golf buddy.

Among the many tributes was a surprise video message from sportscaster Darren Dutchyshen, from the TSN broadcast set.

“When we learned his dream was to work at TSN, we were incredibly moved and humbled. Today we join all of you in spirit as we honour Quinn and celebrate his life,” Dutchyshen said.

“To Quinn’s family and friends and the good people of Saskatoon, helping you through your terrible loss. The TSN team will keep Quinn in our thoughts and in our hearts.”

Dutchyshen, a Saskatchewan native, learned about the tragedy from Saskatoon police Const. Shaina Swidrovich, who didn’t know Stevenson or his family but was moved to help acknowledge his dream.

A scholarship has been established to encourage and support youngsters who embody Quinn’s values. Donations to the Quinn Stevenson Memorial Athletic and Spirit Scholarship are being accepted at TD Canada Trust on Attridge Drive.

Source: Star Phoenix


Last updated on: 2015-06-15 | Link to this post