GREAT FALLS — A public memorial service has been scheduled in Great Falls to honor Antonio “Tony” Renova.
Tony, 5 years old, died last week after he was allegedly beaten by his parents.
The Dandelion Foundation is organizing the event, called "Antonio's Last Honors." It will be on Thursday, December 5, from 6 pm to 8 pm at Montana ExpoPark.
On the Facebook event page, the Dandelion Foundation said:
Our entire community is reeling from the effects of this tragedy and we are grateful for the opportunity to provide a place to come together, to honor Tony and his short life, and to start a chain of healing. We hope to help answer the questions "what's next" and "what can I do to help prevent this from happening to another child?" We will continue to share details of the event as the planning progresses, in the meantime please add this date and time to your calendar and plan to attend.
In a Facebook post , the Dandelion Foundation also noted:
- We understand there are several illegitimate accounts requesting donations circulating through social media and on the web. There are also a few honorable citizens gathering funds to contribute to Tony's remembrance and legacy.
- It is important for the community to know there are several family members who loved Tony dearly and did attempt to provide him a safe and loving home. We encourage those who do not have first-hand knowledge of the situation to refrain from speculating further. We hope the community finds some comfort learning Tony experienced love and kindness from several family members, including his incredible foster family.
Christy Foster, who was Antonio's foster mother from shortly after he was born until he was given back to his birth parents in February 2019, told MTN News, "Tony was a sweet boy. He loved animals. He always knew how to make people laugh because he was such a ham. He loved going to church. He loved learning new things." She assured us that he experienced much happiness and joy during his years with them.
Three suspects, including both of his parents, now face criminal charges for Antonio's (Tony) death.