2017-12-06 / Front Page

Superhero farewell planned for boy

By TIM GULLA
Ledger Staff Writer

A young boy with a huge heart who had already overcome a lot of adversity in his short life will be celebrated as a hero when he is laid to rest Thursday.

His friend who stepped into harm’s way in an effort to help will also be honored as a hero.

As of Tuesday afternoon, plans called for area motorcycle riders, Cherokee County Sheriff ’s Office deputies and other First Responders to escort Batman and his Batmobile, also known as John Buckland from the Heroes 4 Higher organization in West Virginia, from the Interstate 85 welcome center in Blacksburg to Orchard Street Baptist Church Christian Life Center for visitation with young Korbin Williams’ family and for a celebration of life service.

Williams, 8, died Friday near his Daniel Morgan School Road after he was attacked by three dogs belonging to a neighbor. The still unexplainable incident sent ripples of shock not only through the quiet neighborhood but across the region.

The boy had been walking to his friend’s home when the attack occurred and the friend tried to intervene, only to be bitten himself on the knee. The friend, Caleb, then ran to get help.

“A lot of people would have been scared trying to approach those dogs,” Sheriff Steve Mueller said of Korbin’s friend.

Plans call for Batman (Buckland) to arrive at the Blacksburg welcome center at 1:15 p.m. Thursday, where he will be meeting with Caleb.

“At the Welcome Center on Thursday, Caleb will be presented with a plaque to recognize his heroism and the Cherokee County Sheriff ’s Office will present him with a certificate and recognize him for his selfless act as well,” Buckland relayed.

Batman and Caleb will then be escorted from the Blacksburg welcome center to Orchard Street Baptist Church on Double Branch Road in Cowpens beginning at 1:45 p.m.

Visitation will be from 2 to 4 p.m. Thursday, followed by a memorial service.

Northwest Elementary School, where Williams was a student, is encouraging all students, faculty and staff to wear superhero T-shirts on Thursday in support of Williams’ family.

Various photos of Williams show him with different-colored hair. That was the young boy’s way of supporting others, such as having his hair dyed pink in October for Breast Cancer Awareness.

“Every color has a cause,” offered Lisa Valentine, the boy’s aunt. “That was his personality. He liked supporting other causes.”

Williams had personally overcome a lot in life. He suffered a stroke in November 2012, had undergone three brain surgeries and was looking at the possibility of a fourth.

Despite all that, Valentine said, “There was always a smile on his face. There was never a dull day.”

Valentine said the family appreciates all the love, support and prayers they have received during this difficult time.

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