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Peace and Healing Vigil tonight for city reeling from recent tragedy

Lorraine Hartson, Marc Boudreau, Vanessa Bloodoff, Jeff Ashton, Emma Lawczynski, Padn Konkin, and Kelsey Negreiff and Shannon Hartson Kambik spent hours Sunday cleaning up garbage along the highway, with signs saying, "#Chrissysentme". It's one of the many ways people are both expressing their sorrow and showing commuunity solidarity during a very difficult time. Another option is to attend the Peace and Healing vigil being held at Millenium Park tonight at 6 p.m.

A peace and healing vigil is slated to begin at Millennium Park at 6 p.m. today (Sunday), with several local religious leaders scheduled to speak.

This, after the community was rocked by several heartbreaking losses: Chrissy Archibald, Matt Beaudet , Nikki Hackett, Ryan Babakaioff, Brandon Adams Tasha Bates, Richard Askew, Christy Stroes, and Sydney Jensen. Also, ‘Sid the Kid(ney)’, after 14-year-old Zach Tremblay’s kidney transplant didn’t take.

The community also has several families struggling with life-threatening health issues, and said families will be in the thoughts and prayers of many during the vigil, as will missing Crawford Bay teacher Alvin Dunic.

Organizer Deb McIntosh said it’s important to note that, while Christine Archibald’s tragic death in the London Bridge terror attack has garnered international media coverage, this vigil is for any and all who feel it might ease their hearts, regardless the cause of their pain.

“It’s for whoever is hurting and needing this,” she said. “It’s about everyone, but no one person. It’s about community coming together and making people feel like they’re not alone. We’re in this together.”

Some of the speakers lined up for this evening include Aboriginal Elder Gerry Rempel, who will be doing a smudging ceremony, Pastor James McFaddin, Reverend Greg Powell, Reverend Marian Craft will be speaking, the Twin Rivers Choir will perform, and Randy Robertson, who lost his son in a car accident, will be speaking about his healing journey. (This may not be a complete list, as the schedule is fluid.)