CTV.ca News Staff

Date: Mon. Sep. 27 2010 8:01 AM ET

They came from near and far to buy a nine-year-old boy's toys and help him pay for the proper gravestone his father deserved.

Blake McGinness' yard was overrun this weekend by people wanting to help the boy who put his toys up for sale so that he could raise enough money to buy his father a proper memorial.

Blake's father, Rick Lees, an outdoorsman who loved to go hunting and camping, died last year of an abdominal aneurysm. He was buried at a cemetery just outside Kingston, Ont.

His gravesite has been marked only by some of Blake's toys, because the family couldn't afford a full monument.

"When we would go to the grave, it made me sad because there was nothing there," Blake told CTV's Canada AM from Kingston on Monday.

Blake had been planning a garage sale to raise enough money to add to his change bucket so that he could buy an iPod Touch. But in July, he changed his mind.

"He decided ‘No, Daddy needs a gravestone. So I'm going to start saving my money and I'm going to have a garage sale,'" Blake's mother, Linda McGinness says. "And I told him I would try to match what he raised from his garage sale to get Dad a stone. And it just kind of skyrocketed from there."

After Blake told his local radio station about his plan, and his story got picked up by the local newspaper, the Kingston Whig-Standard, donations started pouring in.

"The response from there has been overwhelming. Ian Elliott from the Whig-Standard has helped us. He had in the paper and he's gotten responses even from China to send a gravestone," says Linda.

"We've talked to soldiers in Afghanistan. We've talked to people in the States and Vancouver and all over Canada. It's been unbelievably amazing."

When the yard sale was finally held on Saturday, hundreds of people dropped by to pick up a toy, or really, just to drop off some cash. One man drove in from Montreal to donate a hockey stick signed by the Montreal Canadiens.

"It was really busy. It was a great day. We had a lemonade stand, and we had lots of kids and friends helping. It was great," says Linda.

Blake sold off almost all his toys, keeping only the special ones that his father had given him.

The sale raised more than enough money to pay for a gravestone, and now the family is putting the extra money into an account at the Royal Bank to become an education fund for Blake.