Disney to honor Lane Graves, toddler killed by alligator

2-year-old dragged underwater at Grand Floridian Resort and Spa

By Daniel Dahm - Digital Manager

ORLANDO, Fla. - Walt Disney World plans to construct a lighthouse sculpture to honor a toddler who was killed by an alligator at one of its resorts.

Two-year-old Lane Thomas Graves was dragged underwater a year ago Wednesday while he playing along the Seven Seas Lagoon beach outside Disney's Grand Floridian Resort and Spa.

Lane's father, Matt Graves, of Omaha, Nebraska, jumped into the water to try to free his son. The child's body was found 16 hours later. Lane's death was ruled an accident.

The president of Walt Disney World Resort said in a statement that a lighthouse will be installed on Disney property this summer. The exact location of the sculpture has not been disclosed.

A lighthouse is the symbol of the Lane Thomas Foundation, an organization created by Lane's parents.

"The Lane Thomas Foundation was created to give honor and light to Lane's life. The foundation is dedicated to supporting families of children needing life-saving organ transplants. To provide continued awareness of the foundation and its mission, we've commissioned an original sculpture of the lighthouse the foundation uses as a symbol of love and hope, to be installed on our property this summer," said George A. Kalogridis, president, Walt Disney World Resort.

The Graves family continues to ask for privacy and has no desire to speak publicly, a spokeswoman said.

The boy's death occurred two days after the Pulse nightclub massacre in Orlando.

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