Sunday, November 28, 2010


Elyria – A couple hundred friends and family gathered in the east parking lot of Elyria Catholic High School, just feet from where AJ Vincent lost his life the night before.

Patrick Humphrey, St. Jude’s Church Deacon and teacher at Elyria Catholic High School, said he was called around 7 p.m. by one of the organizer’s parents. “She told me the kids had planned a candlelight vigil for AJ and they wanted to know if I would come down to say a few words and just be here with them, and of course I said yes.”

Humphrey led the vigil in prayer and remembrance. “I said a few words to try and comfort those who were here tonight but more importantly were the friends that spoke and shared stories about AJ. One of his friends talked about how they shared a blanket when they were just infants and that got a chuckle out of the crowd.” Humphrey reminded the kids that it was ok to laugh while remembering the friend that they lost. “It is ok to laugh; I think a lot of them are afraid to laugh but its ok. Once they all got together and started telling stories I think they felt it was ok and together they are helping each other heal and get through this tragedy.”

Teddy Bears, flowers, signs and other mementos were placed by a utility pole in the tree lawn next to where Vincent’s car came to rest.

The vigil was organized by friends quickly and the power of Facebook and Text messaging seemed almost more powerful then getting the word out through the media as hundreds showed up.

Humphrey said that although the kids and others that showed up may not know it, but their vigil helps the family of Vincent. “Seeing the outpouring of love from the friends gives them strength, the family will pull from this and use this as they move forward through these very difficult days. In these days when people are cynical about kids all they need to do is look at what has happened here tonight, to see the kind of love they show for each other. I teach right there at EC and I see it every single day – every single day and this is just a big outpouring of people sharing their love for each other.”

“Friends make the good times better”, said Humphrey. “But they are also there to divide the grief and help support each other in times of grief. They’re always coming together in the good times but it’s in these tragic times that you really see them shine and as I look out here and see all these people – it gives you hope doesn’t it?”

A special fund has been set up to assist the family financially. If anyone would like to donate you may do so by visiting any FIRST MERIT BANK and making a contribution to the AJ VINCENT FUND. A fundraiser dinner is also being organized for December 11th. We will post those details as they become available.


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