The loved ones of slain Australian student and baseball player Chris Lane gathered for an emotional memorial in Australia Sunday, at the club where he first fell in love with the American sport — that same sport that would ultimately draw him to the U.S. where his life would be stolen away at the young age of 22.
Lane’s childhood friends, girlfriend Sarah Harper and his father were all present at the moving tribute.
“Chris surrounded himself with good people and they’re just massive examples of quality,” said Lane’s father, Peter, as he fought back tears.
WATCH: A local Australian news outlet covers the emotional tribute:
“Me crying.. he would have told me to toughen up,” he added.
At the tribute, Lane’s friends and family held a one-minute moment of silence and released 40 balloons into the sky, in honor of his playing number.
“We looked at him as a life long baseball player,” Lane’s former coach, Garry Bitmead, said.
Lane’s father, additionally said he had been humbled at the enormous support his family has received.
“We have a rough few days coming up but we appreciate everything everybody has done,” he said.
A memorial fund, reportedly established by one of Lane’s former teammates, has raised over $167,000 to help with funeral expenses. The original goal was $15,000.
Now, Lane’s loved ones are deciding how to use the money to carry Lane’s legacy into the future.
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