Behind clusters of balloons under the Cunningham park gazebo are the loved ones of a young Joplin man involved in a group that brought people together.
"He was very happy all the time. And things were hard for him and he always tried and always put in his best effort" says Macy Clouse, who was Aidan's Peer Buddy.
"One of his teachers called him a Sour Patch kid. Because he was so sweet and then spur of the moment he would walk over and pat you on the face a little bit. But he was just a really sweet loving kid" says the Peer Buddies President Kylie Shelton.
Aidan was a student at Joplin High School and a member of their Peer Buddies group. He passed away on Thursday at age 17.
"Joplin Peer Buddies is when we take our general education students and pair them up with our special needs students and we go out in the community so we can gain experience of being out in the community and things like that" says Shelton.
The Peer Buddies organized this ceremony and time to support each other
"All of our students of course knew Aidan. So coming together as a community right now is important for the family and for our kids"
"Peer buddies is a large group and for the people who came here...it obviously shows how much people cared about Aidan and this is a team effort for sure. And we were all very devastated and all are just trying to support each other" says Sara Iseli, a Peer Buddy.
As around 170 balloons float off into the sky, the Peer Buddy of Aidan will spend her life in admiration of her friend.
"He never gave up on things. And so I want to take away from that and do that for myself as well. Never give up and always do my best. Even when things get tough" says Clouse.
Joplin Peer Buddies Group Remembers One of Their OwnMore>>