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At vigil in Peconic, community members remember their hero, Dylan Newman

A sea of green washed over Jean Cochran Park in Peconic on Sunday night. Hundreds of friends, family members, Southold students and community members gathered to celebrate the life of Dylan Newman, 18, who died Tuesday.

Many in the crowd wore green tops that said “Team Dylan,” while others were carrying small LED candles that lit up in green.

Martha Hansen moderated the event and helped organize it along with Becky Manwaring, Amy Schill and Jennifer Becker.

“The definition of the word hero, a person who is admired, or idealized for courage, outstanding achievements, or normal qualities, to me that word exemplifies Dylan,” Ms. Hansen said. “And as we go through this next week, and this next few days, I want everybody to remember our hero, Dylan.”

Landon Bennett, a classmate of Dylan in Southold High School’s Class of 2022, sang the national anthem to begin the celebration of Dylan’s life.

Afterward, the Rev. Peter Kelley of First Presbyterian Church in Southold, spoke about Dylan and led a small prayer.

“What I saw over the last four years is your support, your compassion, your sacrifice, your love, in the face of Dylan’s amazing strength and dauntlessness,” the Rev. Kelley said. “Hold on to that, everything that you’ve done, everything that you’ve said everything that you’ve seen. It didn’t die either and share it.”

Photos by Jeremy Garretson

Dylan’s father, Todd Newman, spoke about what the community support has meant to him and his family during this difficult time.

“April 26 2018, we found out Dylan had a tumor on his hip,” Mr. Newman said. “I don’t know exactly when that ‘Dash for Dylan’ was at school [but] I ended what I had to say with ‘we have an army behind us’ and this army is still strong… I want to thank everybody for everything.

“I don’t know how to put in words, but we shared our son with all of you, all of you, because he loved everybody,” he added.

Dylan’s sister, Kelsey, led the community in a walk around the bases in honor of Dylan, who was an avid baseball fan.

Dylan was remembered for the good friend that he was to those around him and much more.

The Newman family will receive visitors Monday from 2 to 7 p.m. at DeFriest-Grattan Funeral Home in Southold. Funeral services will be held at 10:30 a.m. Tuesday at First Presbyterian Church of Southold. Due to the high demand expected, the services will be streamed on Facebook and YouTube.

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