Dozens of carolers’ voices filled the streets neighboring Duane R. Harte Park in honor of Gracie Muehlberger, a victim of the Saugus High School shooting, during the “Caroling with Gracie” event that spread holiday cheer while also giving back to students in need.
Cindy Muehlberger, the mother of Gracie, organized the event via Facebook by sharing a post on a few popular community pages.
“We will be Caroling with Gracie tonight and tomorrow night and collecting canned goods to donate to the Hart District students in need this holiday season,” said Muehlberger in a Facebook post Wednesday. “I’m really looking forward to spreading some Christmas cheer in honor of Gracie a.k.a. my Sweet Pea.”
Those at the event were all seen wearing red shirts reading “Caroling with Gracie.” Others were sipping on hot chocolate that was provided by Starbucks as they walked alongside the carolers.
There were two trailers hauled by cars with men dressed as Santa Claus driving them. In the trailers, students of Saugus High School and those supporting Muehlberger sang popular carols such as “Deck the Halls” and “Joy to the World.”
Gracie Muehlberger, 15, and Dominic Blackwell, 14, were killed and three others were wounded in the on-campus shooting on Nov. 14. The shooter, a 16-year-old Saugus High student, then fatally turned the gun on himself.
“I wanted to keep Gracie and Dominic’s name alive,” said Bridget Fryer, a caroler and friend of Cindy’s. “Gracie loved performing and she used to go caroling with her friends, so I think that is why Cindy wanted to do this to remember her by.”
As the carolers went down the street, Muehlberger and her friends went door to door collecting cans for Hart District students in need this holiday season. Neighbors were seen filming the carolers from their home and some even came out to carol with them.
“Gracie has a huge heart and loved helping others, so please help us, help her [to] continue making a difference,” said a sheet given by carolers.
Caroling for Cans has been a tradition in the community for years, but this year they wanted to honor Gracie, the sheet says.
Caroling for Gracie is caroling and collecting cans again Thursday night, Dec. 12, at 6 p.m., and the community is invited to come and sing with the group.
Said Vix Lyttle, a caroler and friend of Cindy’s: “Gracie is clearly out here caroling with us today.”