AWENDAW, S.C. (WCIV) -- Family, friends and people simply inspired by Ethen Richardson's story remembered his life Saturday evening in Awendaw. Richardson is the 8-year-old who passed away Wednesday after battling a brain stem tumor.
"We are missing him being here, but he is in heaven now and we are overjoyed for that," said Todd Richardson, Ethen's father.
The day was full of hugs for the Richardson family at Awendaw Green. Many people came wearing Ethen T-shirts to celebrate his life.
For Ethen's third grade teacher Stacey Lewis, just wearing a t-shirt wasn't enough she brought Ethen's stuffed animal Dorito he played with at school every day.
"Ethen named him Dorito because he loved to eat Doritos," said Lewis. "Dorito would sit in Ethen's seat if he didn't feel well, and if he didn't come to school a day Dorito would hang out with us until Ethen came back."
Many people at the event knew Ethen, but even those who didn't know Ethen felt a connection to his story and wanted to come out and support.
"I have a child that's his age and it just really touched my heart," said Kasandra Turner, who had the opportunity to meet the 8-year-old once before he passed away.
Dozens of Ethen's school friends played on the playground and ate Ethen's favorite desserts topped with bacon.
People listened to music and gave speeches about how Ethen touched their lives.
"This is what Ethen's life represented, bringing people together. His suffering brought a lot of people together and formed a lot of lasting friendships and helped a lot of people faith so this was a perfect way to celebrate his life," his father said.