Candlelight vigil in honor of Las Vegas shooting to unify Santa Clarita community

A former Golden Valley cheerleader holds a candle during a candlelight vigil at the school for late cheer coach Edward Santos on Thursday, July 27, 2017. Katharine Lotze/The Signal

Locals are invited to a community-wide candlelight vigil to pray and process the Las Vegas massacre.

Real Life Church is partnering with the city of Santa Clarita to hold the event to honor the lives that were lost and comfort community members who are mourning.

“This is something the community needs,” Real Life Church’s Executive Director of Communications Danny Caudillo said. “It’s a way for us to give the community a place to grieve, pray and try to find hope in a lost world.”

In light of the ugliness of what happened in Las Vegas, Caudillo said he hopes some good comes out of bringing people together.

“The event is really trying to get the whole community together to show we love, care and support these people in their time of need,” he said. “Hopefully people walk away feeling better, finding some hope and some peace.”

When tragedies occur, Caudillo said it is important not to “coward and hide” from them and address the hardship head on.

After the shooting occurred, the church opened their doors to anyone who needed counseling or prayer. Pastors and staff members heard how many people the massacre affected in the Santa Clarita Valley and knew they wanted to help.

“This whole event hit a lot closer to home than we anticipated,” Caudillo said.

The church’s communications director said he hopes hundreds of residents, if not thousands, are able to come to the event.

City officials have received many requests for an event like this as well, according to City Communications Manager Carrie Lujan.

“So many people have been affected by this tragedy,” Lujan said. “Everyone seems to know someone who was there. This will be an opportunity for the community to come together to grieve, support and heal.”

The event will be held on Wednesday, Oct. 11 at 7 p.m. at Marketplace Park on 23811 Newhall Ranch Road.

For more information, visit the Pray for Vegas Facebook page.

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