Candlelight Prayer Vigil in Washingtonville Draws Large Crowd
By Eugenia Moskowitz
The candlelight vigil held at Vern Allen Park at sunset on Aug. 26 brought out a large crowd of residents, school principals, school board members, village board members, and clergy of Washingtonville to offer each other support and strength in response to the events of the past few months in Washingtonville, including threats to the high school students last June which were caught in time and the recent passing of beloved community members John West, Timothy Davis, and Mrs. Jodi Davis.
Organized by Washingtonville resident Laurisa Sampson, the hour of quiet reflection included words from various town clergy members, as well as songs by the Praise Team from El Shaddai Christian Church.”We are so blessed to have so many come together in prayer,” Sampson said. “Thank you to all of the clergy who blessed us with prayers and their ministry: Father Jeffrey Maurer, Pastor Jim Barringer, Rev. Martha Carlson, Rev. Harold Garcia, and Pastor Izett Bassiera.” She also thanked Mayor Joseph Bucco, who spoke, as well as Corinne Courtney of Nailed It Hardware and her staff who helped provide the candles. Martha Barrera, Rebecca Akers, Rebecca Ragland, and Dawn Salka, whose Signing Stars Sign Language Club sang and signed the first song, also were vital to the evening.
Paul Saladino, who directs social services at the Washingtonville schools, and Barbara Quinn, Superintendent of Curriculum and Instruction, provided vital information about mental health services the Washingtonville schools offer its students. Finally, Sampson thanked Elena Wakeham and the Laudato family for helping with set-up and breakdown, as well as her own family for giving her the spirit to organize the event.
CAPTION 1: Flames were passed from candle to candle, illuminating Vern Allen Park. (Photo by Elton Ragland)
CAPTION 2: NO CAPTION (Photo provided)