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Family, Friends Remember Teens Who Drowned At Cummins Falls State Park

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Family, Friends Remember Teens Who Drowned At Cummins Falls State Park

CREATED Jun 20, 2014
NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Family and friends have gathered to remember the two teens who drowned at Cummins Falls State Park last weekend.

KeyVonte Cunningham and D'Donta Gray, both 13, were swimming in a popular area of the falls when somehow they both went under last Friday afternoon. Friends said KeyVonte was trying to save D'Donta, who was starting to drown. Neither resurfaced, and their bodies were recovered Saturday.

Balloons flew high over the sky Thursday night at East Nashville Magnet School  in honor of KeyVonte Cunningham.

Friends and family said they wanted to celebrate the young man who made a great impact in such a short time, saying he was full of energy, positive and the kind of kid who would never give up.

"It makes me happy that the East family could actually come together and support each other, although a lot of people just met him this year,” said friend Lakiyrah Holt.

“Today means everything to me. It's making me tear up because he meant so much to me and it's hard to see him go,” added another friend Joi Rodgers.

KeyVonte's funeral is Saturday at Friendship Missionary Baptist Church in Bordeaux. The visitation starts at 10 a.m. and the funeral begins at 11 a.m.

Meanwhile, family and friends gathered for the funeral for D'Donta Gray Thursday night at the Greater Revelations Baptist Church on 12th Avenue North. His burial is scheduled for Friday morning.

The boys were part of a group of 39 children who went to the park with Backfield in Motion, a Nashville-based group that works with inner-city children.

The park in Jackson County features Cummins Falls, a 75-foot waterfall located on the Blackburn Fork State Scenic River.

The deaths remain under investigation by the Department of Children's Services, state park police and Jackson County police.

Backfield in Motion has established two funds to support the families of the victims: The D'Donta Gray Benefit Fund and The KeyVonte Cunningham Benefit Fund, both at First Tennessee Bank.

(The Associated Press Contributed To This Report.)