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Family of slain Surrey girl sets up bursary

Maple Batalia - Facebook
Maple Batalia
— image credit: Facebook

Only a few months after Maple Batalia was gunned down in a North Surrey parking lot, her family is setting up a bursary in her honour.

Batalia was 19 years old when she was shot and killed on Sept. 28 in a parkade near the Surrey campus of Simon Fraser University.

She had been studying late and left for the parkade just after 1 a.m. when she was shot multiple times in what police believe was a targeted attack.

Batalia was an aspiring actress, model, who was planning to go to medical school. Those dreams died with her.

Now, the Batalia family wants to help another student reach their dreams by setting up an educational bursary in Maple's honour.

"It gives my mom a little bit of peace and my dad a little bit of peace, and we hope that Maple's looking down and she's proud," sister Roseleen Batalia told CTV News.

The family has boosted the fundraising initiative with a $10,000 donation. They hope it will eventually reach $50,000. Details about the contributions can be found on the "RIP Maple Batalia" Facebook page.

At the same time, the city is planning a memorial for Maple at Holland Park, where a vigil for her days after she was killed.

Coun. Barinder Rasode said Surrey is working with family and SFU to put plant a maple tree, and install a bench, as well as a work of art.

"Because she was so vibrant and artistic, the family would like to have an art piece commissioned for the park that everybody would enjoy," Rasode said.

The concept of that art would be between the Batalia family and the artist, Rasode said.

Maple and her mother used to walk though Holland Park sharing moments of her life, Rasode said, making the park an appropriate place for the memorial.

"Maple used to work at Staples, and her mom would often walk to get her from work so she didn't have to walk alone," Rasode said. "That was the place to talk."

The exact placement of the memorial will be up to parks staff, Rasode said.

kdiakiw@surreyleader.com

~with files from CTV News

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