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A celebration of life held for 13-year-old struck and killed by baseball

On a stormy Memorial Day, family, friends, teammates and more gathered at Ting Pavilion and celebrated the life of Ness, the 13-year-old Buford Middle School student who was hit in the head with a ball before a community baseball game on May 8 and died two days later.

Originally set for the baseball field at Charlottesville High School, Monday’s memorial was switched to the pavilion to keep mourners protected from the weather.

Attendees spent the afternoon listening to stories of Ness’ short but full life.

Oft repeated was the boy’s passion for baseball.

“The last time we played catch together,” said Ness’ mother and Burnley-Moran Elementary School Principal Elizabeth Korab, “exactly one week before the accident, you were giving me excellent constructive feedback that I needed to catch the ball in the pocket so it wouldn’t hurt my hand. Eventually, you looked at my trash glove and laughed because it was not only too small, the lacing was coming out and it wasn’t even complete leather. Calvin, the night I came home from the hospital and saw my glove on your floor, you had rethread the thumbhole. Thank you, sweetie.”

As Korab spoke, the rain stopped, the clouds cleared and the sun shone on the pavilion.

Ness’ family has established a fundraiser in his name called C-will, collecting money for Buford Middle School athletics.

Tens of thousands of dollars have already come in.

The family said they hope it will help Buford students “grow athletic skills, camaraderie, sportsmanship and joy for all Buford students.”


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