CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. -- A Chesterfield church has dedicated its preschool wing in memory of a four-year-old boy who died unexpectedly last April.
Journey Christian Church opened its new campus Sunday and unveiled “Mason’s Playhouse.”
"We have animals that were handpicked by Mason's brother and sister and the signage that's our playhouse which is the area Mason loved the very most," said Journey Christian Church’s Julie Botset.
Mason Newton, who loved to laugh and dress in his favorite superhero costumes, fell asleep in his mother’s arms last April after being treated for the respiratory virus croup. He never woke up.
After his passing, his parents decided to give back to Mason’s favorite Sunday spot.
Through the “Making Memories for Mason” GoFundMe account more than $16,000 was raised for the preschool program Mason loved known as Waumba Land.
“It’s so welcoming and so happy and everything I hoped it to be,” said Mason’s mother Chrissy Newton as she toured the new facility.
"Whenever we find ourselves in a situation we are reminded strongly of him it is bitter sweet," said Mason’s father Robbie Newton. “You enjoy being able to imagine him running around and having a good time but it hurts too. Mason would have been so happy to see this,” he added.
The Newton’s take comfort that Mason’s siblings and hundreds of other kids will be reminded of Mason for years to come in the environment he loved to sing, play and worship in.
“They’ve done such a great job of pouring into the lives of kids here we wanted a chance to give back to that,” said Robbie.
“Hundreds of children are going to be able to learn the same truths of God’s word because of the generous financial contribution of other people,” said Botset.
The Newton’s thanked the community for the overwhelming support during this difficult time.