Many pull for girl injured in Sylvan Lake boat accident as hundreds set to attend funeral of siblings Friday

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By MEGAN SEMERAZ
Megan.Semeraz@oakpress.com; @MeganSemeraz
Hundreds of people are expected to attend a funeral Friday for two West Bloomfield children who died in a boating accident Sunday on Sylvan Lake.

Church services for Alexander Mansour, 11, and his sister, Gabrielle, 6, will be conducted together at noon at Mother of God Chaldean Catholic Church, 25585 Berg Road in Southfield. Interment will follow at Holy Sepulchre Cemetery at 10 Mile and Beech roads in Southfield.

A family member, the children’s uncle Marvin Mansour, said Thursday that the “family is undergoing a horrible tragedy, and we appreciate the respect of everyone for the family’s privacy.”

He thanked people for offers of donations and support and said a memorial fund in the name of the children would be created soon.

The condition of a third child hurt in the accident, Adriana Mansour, 10, is improving, according to a family friend.

The accident shocked people around the region. Sylvan Lake reinstated its marine patrol beginning this weekend. A candlelight vigil was held Tuesday night at Orchard Lake St. Mary’s Grotto. A vigil also was held Monday at St. Thomas Chaldean Catholic Church in West Bloomfield Township.

The tragic accident happened while the children’s father, John Mansour, was operating a personal watercraft and pulling his three children on Sylvan Lake on a large tube. A 56-year-old Sylvan Lake man’s boat struck the children’s tube, investigators said. Alexander died in the water, officials said, while Gabrielle died in the hospital Monday afternoon. Adriana remains hospitalized.

On Thursday, Twitter users from around the nation chimed in to make a difference in Adriana’s life by campaigning for singer Taylor Swift to visit the little girl. The young country-pop superstar has visited fans in the hospital recently, including a cancer patient in Omaha, Neb., and the family of a girl hit by a car in Los Angeles.

Adriana’s family did not initiate the campaign, and the friend who spoke to an Oakland Press reporter said it should be quashed.

Swift fans on Twitter hashtagged #GetAdrianaMansourToMeetTaylorSwift, hoping to grab the attention of the pop star. Users also tweeted directly at Swift, hoping she might see their messages. Continued…

http://www.theoaklandpress.com/articles/2013/07/18/news/local_news/doc51e8269ad4c26095512735.txt