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Grieving father asking people to ‘pay-it-forward’ in memory of his daughter

Grieving father asking people to ‘pay-it-forward’ in memory of his daughter

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By: Melissa Randall

The father of a teen killed in a car crash last summer is turning his grief into something positive. On the first anniversary of the tragic accident, the Burrillville man is launching a social media campaign called ‘Share for Shannon’.

July 11th is a day Brian Heil will never forget. It's the day lost his daughter, Shannon. Friday he showed his appreciation to the first responders who were there at the scene of the tragic accident.

“I don't know how they do their job, but today I wanted to thank them and I wanted to tell them how grateful I was that they were there for Shannon in her time of need,” said Brian Heil.

The 18–year–old and her friend were killed in a car crash on Bronco’s Highway in Burrillville.

William scurry of Woonsocket was also in the car. He survived.

 “That's the second time I've driven this road in the last year. And it was like a weird choked up silent ride down the entire street,” he said about the trip back to Burrillville.

Shannon's father wanted a way to remember his daughter in a positive light. He says Shannon was always doing little things to surprise people, so he started a social media campaign in an effort to pay it forward.

“Do something for someone else. It doesn't have to be a big thing. It could be really, really small– as long as it makes and impact on someone's life,” said Heil.

Heil’s first good deed in Shannon’s memory was hosting a breakfast for first responders in his home town.

“I spent 24 years with the state police and in my time here... I've never seen such and outpouring of generosity and a will to say thank you,” said Col. Stephen Lynch, Burrillville’s Police Chief.

The family hopes that the random acts of kindness will catch on, and that the spirit of the fierce cheerleader who loved to Instagram selfies will live on.

The community is encouraged to share photos of them doing good deeds in Shannon’s memory on the campaigns page.—

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Follow me on Twitter @MelissaARandall

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