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Bel Air To Host Vigil For Connecticut Shooting Victims

An Aberdeen woman is organizing a candlelight vigil to allow Harford County residents a chance to mourn the shooting deaths of 20 children and 6 adults in a Newtown, Connecticut elementary school.

News of the shocked the nation Friday.

This week, an Aberdeen woman is organizing a tribute to the victims and an opportunity for the Harford County community to grieve.

"I’m just a mom and I felt very deeply affected by all this and I feel that we all have [been]," Joy McDowell said. "I kept saying I felt like I just needed to do something."

Instead of just talking about it, McDowell started making calls. Once she and Bel Air Police Chief Leo Matrangola got in touch, the ball really got rolling.

McDowell and the police department are co-sponsoring a candlelight vigil set to take place at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 19 at Shamrock Park in Bel Air. The event is expected to last about an hour.

People and organizations have come out of the woodwork to help McDowell and show their support in the wake of what has become a national tragedy.

St. Joan of Arc, St. Margaret and Mt. Zion churches have donated candles. Pastors from Harford Community Church have agreed to say a few words and lead the service. High Voltage Entertainment has volunteered a sound system free of charge and a friend of McDowell's has offered to design and print programs.

"Everyone is coming together to help," McDowell said.

She added Wegman's even donated a $50 gift card to help provide light refreshments.

"It’s kind of taking on a level of its own," McDowell said.

She said people can expect a light religious tone, and kid-friendly atmosphere.

"There will be no mention of the shooter's name," McDowell said.

She added the vigil will not emphasize the violence that took place, but instead give people an opportunity to grieve, even if they can't find someone to watch their little ones.

"I just hope people can get some kind of peace," McDowell said.

Danielle Clark December 18, 2012 at 08:48 PM
What a generous spirit this woman has. Thank you for organizing this!
Oksana Merryman December 19, 2012 at 12:38 AM
That is so nice for someone to even consider for something like this to happen. I know today I was reading the victims' families remarks and just choked up with tears reading the different things the victims' families will miss. This is the most difficult things I have heard of.
Roy Skrivanek December 19, 2012 at 12:59 AM
Thank you for getting a service together. Hopefully, this will help us to show our love and respect for all the families and friends involved.
Tiffany Del Cid December 19, 2012 at 02:53 AM
Joy! Great job!!
Katie December 19, 2012 at 04:43 PM
our family will be there tonight, and thank you so much for even doing this
Jessica December 19, 2012 at 05:08 PM
What a kind hearted women to think to do something like that!!!! My credits go to you!! Happy Holidays!!! God bless!!

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