AMHERST, N.Y. (WIVB) – Five year-old Benjamin Sauer, who gained so much support as he faced a cancerous brain tumor, was remembered in a public funeral service at The Chapel at Crosspoint Saturday morning. Hundreds filled the church, while thousands more watched a stream of the service online.
There were plenty of tears shed, and laughter shared at the memories this playful, smiling, and energetic little boy.
“Father,” prayed lead Pastor Jerry Gillis, “I want to thank you for the legacy that’s been left to us by a child. He’s catalyzed a city; he’s turned this place upside-down in support of this family.”
Pastor Gillis thanked all of Western New York on the Sauer family’s behalf, from churches, to businesses, schools, and “just regular dudes” who have shown support to them through something as simple as a color – “Blue 4 Ben.”
“When we would see things lit up in blue, our hearts were burdened and melting for a family that was walking through a very difficult time,” Gillis said.
The service was filled with heartfelt tributes to Ben from various family members, including a eulogy written by a grandfather and read by an uncle; voice-overs of excerpts from his mom, Mindy’s, blog; and a video eulogy from Ben’s twin, Jack.
The service was followed by a private ceremony and burial for immediate family members.