Many residents from Barnegat and beyond, who had never met Kyle McGetrick, say they were inspired by his life and affected deeply by his death.
One such resident is Matt Cox, 18 of Barnegat.
"I didn’t know about who Kyle was, and then I heard about him during Christmas, and they said that he may not make it through Christmas," said Cox, who is a senior at Barnegat High School. "And then they said he wouldn’t make it through the New Year.
"I think we all knew that there was going to come that time when he would drift away," Cox added.
Kyle McGetrick died on , after seven years of battling with leukemia.
Inspired by another young Barnegat resident, Jillian Grobelny, 20, who organized a on the night after Kyle's passing, Cox wanted to put together another tribute by the young people of this town, to show how much Kyle had meant to them.
"I just felt so inspired by the little boy, and how he lived his life," Cox said. "We're never going to forget him."
Cox and his bandmates, Jesse Nokes, 18, Rachel Nokes, 16, Dylan Manfredi, 18, Joe Platero, 17, and Rob Taglang, 18, will perform on acoustic guitar, base guitar, drums, keyboard, and sing in Kyle's memory at Barnegat High School at 6 p.m. Wednesday. The night promises to entertain the audience with multiple acts which will include other performers, as well.
"We're calling the event 'A Seat On The Aisle For Kyle,'" Cox said, "because out of all these seats that are hopefully going to be filled, there is going to be one seat, in the front row, that won’t be. That seat will be for Kyle."
The fundraiser requires no entrance fee, Cox said, and everyone can donate what they wish to "Courage from Kyle," an organization that provided support to Kyle during his life and will use the funds in his name to offer assistance to other kids battling cancer and to their families.
"I went to the candlelight vigil, and I said, the emotions that this family must be going through right now, not to mention all the other difficulties they're facing," Cox said. "People go into a lot of financial debt when someone in the family has cancer."
Cox said one of the songs his band will be performing is "Only Hope" by Switchfoot, that some people may recognize from a movie "A Walk to Remember."
"[The song] is basically kind of just saying, when you’re at a moment in your life when things could be as low as they can get, there is always hope," Cox said."You can always look toward God, in a way."
Cox, whose band will also be playing at Relay for Life on Friday night at the high school, said the funds raised would benefit Kyle's family and other kids who are going through what he had faced.
"Hope is the one word that sums up the theme of all the cancer foundations' fundraising," he said.
For more information about tomorrow's event, email firstname.lastname@example.org .