Jun 13 2012 EXCLUSIVE by Nicolle Laurie
Declan Shanley memorial walk Image 3
A CHARITY walk is being held in memory of a schoolboy who drowned trying to save a friend.
Declan Shanley, 13, was swept away by a strong current in the River Kelvin in 2010.
He had jumped in when pal Caitlin Kane got into trouble in the water.
A 5km walk/run has been organised to mark the second anniversary of Declan’s death.
The event will raise cash for supervised activities to keep local youngsters safe and occupied.
It will also deliver a vital message about the danger of playing near or in open water.
Declan’s mum Elaine praised Stephen Koepplinger, founder of After Schools Activities Programme (ASAP), who organised the memorial day.
She said: “I’m so pleased that the money raised will help in keeping kids safe.
“Every parent is the same.They want to keeps their kids away from the streets and canals and other places you don’t want them to be.
“I’m overwhelmed by the kindness of everybody. My friends and family have all helped out and we’ve started off the funds with £60.”
Elaine, of Summerston, added: “I can’t thank Steve enough. The man’s brilliant. He’s really done everything he could for us.
“He has a family of his own so finding the time must be difficult.”
Celtic fan Declan jumped into the Kelvin to save his best pal Caitlin.
She made it back to the bank but Declan was swept away.
Elaine said she still struggles to come to terms with the loss of her son.
She added: “It is hard. It’s the second anniversary but it’s still all very raw.
“It gets worse, trying to deal with it every day and remembering him everyday.
“After something like that happens, you’re never the same. My other two kids will never be the same.”
Memorial day organiser Stephen knew Declan and his elder brother Kieran from ASAP activities.
He said: “I knew Declan quite well. Three years ago, he was playing tennis with us. His family are my neighbours.
“There is a public health warning here. I like splashing along the river on a nice day but we have to be so respectful of it.”
The walk/run on Tuesday will start on Kelvin walkway by St Greg’s Catholic Church.
As well as the walk, there will be a barbecue and music for anyone who comes along.
Sponsorship forms for those who want to do the route can be downloaded from www.asapscotland.org/. T-Shirts can be bought on the day for £5 each.