Community wraps arms around family of drowned toddler
ANNA Greaney, the toddler who tragically drowned after falling from Portarlington Pier last week, will be farewelled on Thursday.
The 2-year-old's funeral will be livestreamed online, with coronavirus restrictions limiting in-person attendance.
Anna, the youngest of four children, was visiting the foreshore with her dad and two of her siblings when tragedy struck last Thursday.
Mum Billee said the family had been inundated with support from the community in the difficult days since.
"We've not once felt alone," Mrs Greaney said.
"It's getting a bit harder as the funeral comes closer."
A GoFundMe page set up by Mrs Greaney's sister to support Anna's family has raised more than $32,600.
Mrs Greaney said the funds would support the family to pay for a trip back to Ireland, the home country of Anna's dad Patrick.
"I know for my husband he can't imagine going back to work right now so it's lifted a weight, he's desperate to get back to his people in Ireland," Mrs Greaney said.
Floral tributes and written messages have continued to accumulate at the pier as the community mourns Anna.
Meanwhile, a virtual vigil has been planned for Wednesday evening to honour Anna's life.
Jo Baillon, a Portarlington resident, initiated the virtual event.
The candle lighting was initially intended to be held at Portarlington Pier, but will be conducted virtually following advice from police regarding coronavirus restrictions.
People can light candles at their homes to honour Anna.
Ms Baillon, who does not personally know the Greaney family, said the tragedy had really "rocked" the town.
"Let us as a community continue to show our support by lighting a candle and lighting the way for Anna's family and friends," the event description says.
People are encouraged to post a photo of their candles, and the Facebook event is called "Light the way for Anna Virtual Event".
Anna's funeral, to be held at Thursday from 3pm, will be livestreamed at the Jonathan Hepner Funerals website: jhfunerals.com.au
Originally published as Community wraps arms around family of drowned toddler