Tributes, fundraisers aim to ease grief of losing Harrow, Ont., family members found dead in their home

People in the southwestern Ontario town of Harrow haven't stopped grieving since members of the Walsh family were found dead in their home last week.

From fundraising to cover funeral and other costs to tributes on social media, those close to the Walshes and what they brought to their community are persevering to remember them.

As of Tuesday afternoon, Essex County Ontario Provincial Police hadn't released any details of what may have happened at the home at 1200 County Road 13. Police addressed a news conference last Friday, but would only say it was an "unimaginable tragedy" and there was no danger to the public.

Community members who attended a vigil on the weekend identified the family as Carly and Steve Walsh and their children, Madison, 13, and Hunter, 8.

Social media have also provided an outlet for people in the town of about 2,500 to express their feelings.

"We lost a close friend and her family last week. She was a core member of our team," Paglione Estate Winery, Carly's employer, said in a Facebook post.

"We loved her and her family very much. They were an extension of ours. We are heartbroken and reeling with grief."

Carly Walsh of Harrow in an image shared by her employer Paglione Estate Winery.
Carly Walsh's photo was shared on social media by her employer, Paglione Estate Winery. (Paglione Estate Winery/Facebook)

The mom of two was assistant manager at the winery and had been involved with the business since 2016.

She also was a sales director with Tupperware, first joining the company in 2012.

Nina Berglund, a Tupperware colleague, praised Walsh as an "inspiration" who welcomed people to her home.

"Still in absolute shock; can't believe it's real," Berglund said on Facebook. "You and your children will be forever missed."

Carly Walsh of Harrow with her Tupperware-branded vehicle.
Carly Walsh of Harrow with her Tupperware-branded vehicle. (Nina Berglund/Facebook)

Julie Laviolette, regional leader of Tupperware sales consultants, said she knew she would be friends with Carly Walsh the moment they met 13 years ago.

"She was honestly a shining light. Everybody loved her," Laviolette told CBC Windsor. "(Her team) absolutely adored her. She was always smiling, had a great sense of humour. And she just loved to help people."

"We don't know what to think, how to cope with what has happened. It's been very difficult for all of the girls who have known her for years... Carly was a beautiful person, inside and out."

A Facebook image mourning he deaths of Carly Walsh of Harrow and her children, Madison and Hunter.
Many Facebook users have used this image to honour members of the Walsh family. (Facebook)

Colchester resident Megan Rose Janisse shared images and videos of past gatherings and celebrations with Carly, a close friend, and her children.

"You didn't deserve this. We are all so incredibly heartbroken you won't be here to make more memories with," Janisse wrote on Facebook. "I honestly can't wrap my head around this. I love you, Carly."

'Our hearts break for all affected'

Several Harrow organizations and businesses have been letting the public know, through social media and other means, about fundraising events to help with funeral expenses.

The Camoes Portuguese Club of Harrow is holding a pasta fundraiser night on July 2.

Carly Walsh of Harrow with her daughter Madison.
Carly Walsh is seen with daughter Madison on Carly's Facebook page. (Carly Walsh/Facebook)

Hunter Walsh played on the club's sponsored soccer team in the Harrow Minor Soccer league. His sister, Madison, was a referee for league games.

"All proceeds will be given to the family," the Camoes Portuguese Club said in its Facebook post. "Our hearts break for all affected."

Some businesses — including Roslyn's Sweet Treats and Sarah Ann Photography — are raffling their services as part of the fundraising.

The owner of Roslyn's Sweet Treats worked with Carly in Tupperware and Sarah Ann Photography did a Christmas photo session with the Walsh children in 2022.

"Please keep Carly and her two beautiful children in your prayers," wrote Sarah Barichello of Sarah Ann Photography.

Hunter and Madison Walsh, the children of Carly Walsh of Harrow, in an image posted by Sarah Ann Photography.
Hunter and Madison were both active in the community. (Sarah Ann Photography/Facebook)

Harrow Car Wash says it's donating all proceeds earned from car washes at the business on Saturday, from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.

"It's time for us to come together and show our support," wrote the business owners. "You never know what someone might be going through. Let's stand strong and help one another."

A Facebook image promoting a fundraising car wash in Harrow, meant to support the family of Carly Walsh.
This Facebook image promotes a fundraising car wash for the Walshes. (Harrow Car Wash/Facebook)

A GoFundMe campaign has been started to help the re-homing process of two dogs who belonged to the Walsh family.

According to Kerry Dougan, a pet groomer in Harrow, the female dogs Mollie and Bella are now living at the home of a relative of Carly Walsh.

"Mollie and Bella tragically lost their family last week and have been selflessly taken in," Dougan wrote.

"The dogs were brought to the family with none of their belongings. No leashes or collars, beds, toys, treats or food... I would love it if we could all come together... to help them start a new life with their new family."

Mollie and Bella, the two pet dogs of the Walsh family of Harrow.
Mollie and Bella, the two pet dogs of the Walsh family of Harrow. (Kerry Dougan/Knine46 Grooming)