Bench dedication ceremony honors boy who lost battle with cancer

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    PORTLAND (WGME)—A new landmark now sits at the playground on the Eastern Promenade.

    On Saturday, a bench was dedicated to Jacob Thompson.

    The nine-year-old boy touched many heart before losing a battle to cancer last year.

    Jacob went viral when he asked for Christmas cards last November to celebrate the holiday early. He received thousands of cards along with many drawings of penguins, his favorite animal.

    The Munjoy Fire Station and Munjoy Neighborhood Association helped fundraise to make the bench a reality.

    Firefighter Craig Voisine says it was a task he couldn’t refuse.

    "His father had someday dreamed of setting a bench up here to honor Jacob's memory,” said Voisine. “So once we heard that we kind of leaped into action so to speak and thought let's get this done.”

    Jacob’s father Roger Guay says the bench was something he had envisioned for years.

    "It's a dream come true. I've wanted a bench for Jacob every since he was diagnosed with cancer. I was hoping it would be to celebrate him beating cancer,” says Guay.

    Jacob’s mother, Tara Artinyan says the bench and park gives the family a place to reflect on his memory and look forward to all that is ahead.

    "We've been drawn here. We can feel him here,” says Artinyan. “The fact it looks over the Atlantic and knowing somewhere in the ocean penguins are swimming brings us ever closer to him."

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