BIDDEFORD – Liam Mahaney would have started kindergarten this week.

Instead, about three dozen people gathered Saturday morning in memory of the 5-year-old boy who was killed July 19 when a logging truck overturned near the family’s Jackman home, sending logs through rooms on the first floor.

As friends and family came together for a walk to benefit the mother, father and three siblings he left behind, they formed a sea of blue. The boy’s aunt and godmother Shannon Fleurant said it was Liam’s favorite color.

Each participant carried a baby blue balloon. Some balloons read “I love you Liam,” while others bore Buzz Lightyear’s catchphrase: “To infinity and beyond.” The space ranger action figure said that often in the “Toy Story” movies, and family members said the motto summed up the boy.

“He was a tiny little guy, but he was always smiling,” Annette Brown said. “He brought the family up when they were down.”

Brown hugged her niece, Liam’s mother Christina Mahaney, when she arrived for the walk.

While she knows nothing can bring Liam back, Brown hopes the support friends and family gave Saturday will help the family rebuild.

Not only did the July accident kill Liam, but it injured his mother and his father, Gary Mahaney.

It also left them and their three other children, Preston, 12, Grant, 8, and Grace 4, homeless.

Since then, the communities of Jackman, where they lived, and Biddeford, where their family is from, have rallied to help them.

A benefit barbecue in August drew 250 people and an all-ages daylong concert, “Rock for Liam,” is planned for Sept. 17 at Champions Sports Bar in Biddeford.

“It’s overwhelming,” Christina Mahaney said. “We don’t know how to say thank you to all these people.”

As more people dropped cash donations into a bucket she carried, Fleurant said she has raised $200 to help the family.

Part of that money has been raised selling buttons with pictures of Liam for $2 apiece.

The group walked down Alfred Street to St. Mary’s Cemetery. When they reached the boy’s gravesite, they released the balloons, which quickly disappeared into the clear blue, sunny morning sky.

“He was such a sweet boy,” Fleurant said. “He had so much more to live.”

Staff Writer Emma Bouthillette can be contacted at 791-6325 or at:

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