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Vermilion church to hold vigil for shooting victims

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VERMILION — A local church is inviting community members to a vigil to end gun violence.

In the wake of two mass shootings in less than 24 hours, United Church of Christ Congregational in Vermilion is holding a candlelight vigil and prayer service 7:30 p.m. Thursday.

Karen Rossi, chairperson for the church’s missions committee, said the group met Sunday morning and started planning the spur-of-the-moment event.

“We just felt moved to just change our meeting into planning a vigil for our community for all the lost ones. It’s just been devastating — you go to bed at 10 p.m. and there’s 22 dead in El Paso and you wake up to go to church and you read about nine more people in Dayton, Ohio. We just said let’s get it on the calendar, no matter what.”

The event comes days after two shootings that left more than 30 dead. Saturday morning 20 people were killed and dozens injured at a shooting in a Walmart in El Paso, Texas. As of Monday evening, two more had died from their injuries. About 1 a.m. Sunday a man opened fire in a nightclub district in Dayton, killing nine and injuring more than 30 others.

Rossi said the Dayton shooting hit close to home for her family, as her daughter’s best friend knew one of the young men killed that night.

As the event still is in the works, and details are being worked out. Rossi said there may be a collection for either Everytown for Gun Safety or Brady United Against Gun Violence.

The event also will include information on gun safety and suicide prevention — following fatalities in neighboring Lorain last month.

The vigil is open to the public. The church is at 990 State St.

Contact Carissa Woytach at (440) 329-7245 or cwoytach@chroniclet.com.


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