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Fundraising effort launched for family of baby who drowned in car

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Taz Jerome Paul Boyles (Photograph supplied)

A fundraising effort for the family of a baby who died in a sunken car was launched yesterday – on what would have been his 1st birthday.

Rosa’s Cantina launched the drive in memory of Taz Jerome Paul Boyles, who lost his life last week.

The restaurant, on Front Street, Hamilton, has created special cocktails and mocktails in the baby’s name, with all of the proceeds going towards the family.

Layona Barnett, the sister of Taz’s mother, Carmeka Millett, has also launched a donation page where members of public can choose a time slot to provide daily meals and snacks for the family members.

Ms Barnett said: “It is overwhelmingly beautiful to see how many people have come forward to give love and support to the family. It means the world to us.”

The Rosa’s fundraiser, sponsored by rum company Gosling’s, will help to raise cash for Taz’s mother, father Ty-Rae Boyles, his two sisters and other family members to help with the funeral and other costs.

The drinks were named Tazzie Boi and Grandson and the fundraiser is scheduled to continue until the end of the month.

Taz drowned last Friday after the car he was in crashed through a fence and plunged into the water off Shark Hole Hill in Hamilton Parish.

Family and friends of the tot gathered at the restaurant last night to kick-start the fundraising campaign.

Taz’s grandmother, Carmelita Millet, said the little boy was “a ball of fire”.

Ms Millett said: “He lit up the room. He hadn’t started walking yet, but definitely he was one that was determined.

“Whatever he tried to do, he was determined that he was going to do it, even without walking.

“He brought a lot of joy, a lot of healing, a lot of reconciliation to the family.”

“We always tease and say we wonder ‘who likes us — who loves us’.

“But just to see how his short life has affected the community and how the community has come together — it just shows the love towards us is just unexplainable.

“We’re a family that stick together and we have always taught our children to try to be there for people, and that’s what we always do. To be on the receiving side is different.

“We’re grateful for the love that the community has shown, the prayers, the acts of service, it’s just been unexplainable.

“My daughter has been a trouper. She’s the one who’s going through this but she’s been encouraged by so many people that have been affected by this.”

Support: the family and friends of Taz Boyles met at Rosa’s Cantina to celebrate the life of the toddler (Photograph by Akil Simmons)

Lindsay Simmons, a government senator and director of operations at Rosa’s, said she was heartbroken after she heard the news and vowed to do something to help the family.

Ms Simmons said: “We launch lots of fundraising events at Rosa’s but this one is particularly emotional and touching given Taz’s age and the circumstances of his passing.

“It is important that we come together as a community and support the family.

“This is one way the community can do something to help and a way they can celebrate his life together.”

Vyntah Caesar, a customer at the restaurant, was drinking one of the cocktails at the bar.

He said: “I am in a WhatsApp group and heard about the cocktails. I wanted to show my support to the family. It was tragic, and today is his birthday. It’s touching. I am just doing my little tribute to Taz.”

Ms Simmons posted a message from Ms Millett on the Facebook group MAJ’s List in which the mother explained the origin of her son’s name. In it, Ms Millett said: “Taz – The coolest person to walk the Earth. Honestly in my eyes, Taz was the greatest.”

The family’s separate donation page said: “Grief Support: Many have asked how they can be of assistance during this time. Words cannot express how grateful we are.”

The donation page can be found here.

Rosa’s Cantina is open from noon to 9pm from Sunday to Thursday and from noon to 10pm on Friday and Saturday.

Taz Jerome Paul Boyles (Photograph supplied)
Taz Jerome Paul Boyles (Photograph supplied)

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Published March 16, 2022 at 8:29 am (Updated March 16, 2022 at 5:14 pm)

Fundraising effort launched for family of baby who drowned in car

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