ISHPEMING - Mare than 100 people stood out in the cold for a candlelight vigil in honor of Christopher "Bubba" Croley and others who have died Saturday at Al Quaal Recreation Area in Ishpeming.
The event started off with Gena Johnson, organizer and Croley family friend, saying a few words. She then asked anyone who would like to speak to come up as say a few words as well.
Community members - as well as Jodi Croley, Christopher's mother - spoke about him and others who have died. Johnson said she got a lot of good feedback and was pleased with how many people showed up.
More than 100 people showed up and lit candles for loved ones who have died at a candlelight vigil in honor of Christopher 'Bubba' Croley, who died in an accident recently, and others Saturday at Al Quaal Recreation Area in Ishpeming. (Journal photo by Adelle Whitefoot)
Candlelight vigil organizer Gena Johnson releases balloons with messages written on them for loved ones who have died. (Journal photo by Adelle Whitefoot)
"I see the sorrow in people's eyes and pictures I would have never dreamed to see of babies and older people and it's just touching," Johnson said.
After everyone who wanted to speak got a chance to, the crowd made a circle around the pavilion and lit their candles while music played in the background. In addition, balloons with messages for loved ones who have been lost written on them were released into the sky.
"You don't have to grieve alone," Johnson said in her ending remarks. "This event is meant to be a healing event for those of you who have lost a loved one."
Johnson said she hopes the event will become an annual event and even more people will come and share their story.
"I think just to keep people's memory alive and be able to come out and talk about them or show a picture of them puts a face to what you are feeling," Johnson said. "I think it's really helpful and every year that someone gets to remember their loved one and have others remember them is big."
Funds raised at the event will be donated to the Ishpeming Booster Club.
Adelle Whitefoot can be reached at 906-486-4401. Her email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.