Saturday, November 18, 2017 Elyria 49°


Balloon launch planned to honor North Ridgeville teen


NORTH RIDGEVILLE — Hundreds of former classmates of Alexander Sismour were to turn out today to honor the teen by lining Center Ridge Road and releasing more than 1,000 balloons as the youth’s funeral procession passes.

“We have a student body of 927 students, and we’re going to have them show their support for the family,” Kerri Bennett said Wednesday.

Bennett is the attendance secretary at North Ridgeville Middle School, which Sismour attended. School officials decided to allow students to leave their morning classes between 9:30 and 10 a.m. so they could stand in front of the school along Center Ridge Road and release colored balloons in honor of Sismour, who died following an accident Saturday afternoon on state Route 57 in which he was struck by a minivan as he tried to ride across the busy road on his bicycle with a group of friends.

Community members and parent volunteers were scheduled to arrive at the school by about 6:30 a.m. this morning to blow up balloons in the North Ridgeville Ranger blue, gold and white colors.

“We hope to have 1,000 to 1,300 balloons to pass out to students to have as the funeral procession goes by,” Bennett said.

Bennett said the community also is encouraged to line both sides of Center Ridge Road between Bogner’s Funeral Home, where visitation was held Wednesday, and St. Peter’s Church, where mass was to be celebrated at 10 a.m. today, Bennett said.

School officials anticipated the balloon release would take place about 9:45 a.m., Bennett said.

Hundreds of students at North Ridgeville High School, where Alex had just begun classes as a freshman and where his older brother Andrew is a senior, wore black clothing Monday to show their support for the family.

Boys’ and girls’ high school soccer games scheduled for Wednesday were postponed as a way of honoring Alex Sismour.

Andrew Sismour captains and plays goalie on the boys’ soccer team.

Contact Steve Fogarty at 392-7146 or

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