Tag Archives: candlelight vigil

Queens Museum lit orange for gun violence awareness following vigil


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photos by Angy Altamirano

The “World’s Borough” came together Monday night to honor the nine lives lost in last week’s South Carolina church shooting, and show the rest of the nation that a diverse community can unite as one.

Elected officials, local community and religious leaders, and families of victims of gun violence gathered in front of the Queens Museum during a candlelight vigil remembering the victims of gun violence throughout the borough, and paying tribute to the nine people shot and killed at the Emanuel A.M.E. Church in Charleston, South Carolina, on June 17.

“We are the borough of Queens, we are 130 languages spoken in our school system, we hail from over 120 countries and you know what? We take the greatest pride in that diversity. We are proud and we stand together to say that gun violence, especially racist terrorist gun violence, will not be tolerated and we will stand together to send that message,” Queens Borough President Melinda Katz said.

Monday night also marked the first of nine nights that the front exterior of the Queens Museum will be illuminated in orange, the official color of Gun Violence Awareness Month. Through June 30, an average of about 168,000 motorists per day will be able to see the museum as they drive by on the Grand Central Parkway.

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“I hope the orange glow of the museum’s façade this evening will remember each of the passing motorists of our collective responsibilities,” said Laura Raicovich, executive director of the Queens Museum.

Those present during the interfaith vigil included local religious leaders who each voiced the importance of coming together to fight for the end of gun violence. Pastor Richard Hogan of the Divine Deliverance Ministry in Jamaica and father of Laseam Hogan, who was killed in 2010 at the age of 27, also led the group in a prayer.

“We come here to launch a movement. We’ve been moving but we need a movement, a movement against gun violence. This is not a movement of just some folk but it has to be a movement of all folk,” said Rev. Dr. Alfonso Wyatt of the Greater Allen A.M.E Cathedral of New York in Jamaica. “We are all impacted. Bullets do not respect age, [do] not respect denomination, faith, tradition, socio-economic background. We have to come together.”


At the end of the night, family members of victims of gun violence read out names of their lost friends, husbands, sons, daughters and other loved ones.

“We commit to continue to be the trailblazers in the borough of Queens and make sure that as the Queens division of the crisis management system, we will show the world how people from different races, people from different ideologies, people from different nationalities, people from different beliefs, and walks and everything that you can think of can come together and change the culture of violence and stop the epidemic of violence from spreading and killing our children and destroying our families,” said Erica Ford, CEO and founder of LIFE Camp Inc., a group founded in 2002 with the mission of teaching violence prevention in schools.

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Candlelight vigil held in Ridgewood for Nepal earthquake victims


| agiudice@ridgewoodtimes.com

Photo by Anthony Giudice

Many of the Nepalese residents in Ridgewood joined together Wednesday night for a candlelight vigil to show their support for the victims of the 7.8-magnitude earthquake that hit their home country last weekend.

Candles were placed on the ground at Clemens Triangle at the intersection of Myrtle and Cypress avenues, while residents held up signs reading, “Pray for Nepal” and showed the strength of their community.

Assemblyman Mike Miller was in attendance, as well as Vincent Arcuri and Ted Renz of the Myrtle Avenue Business Improvement District, which helped organize the vigil along with Bikash Kharel of the Nepalese American Youth Association and the Ridgewood Nepalese Society.

 

 

 

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$24K raised at Jackson Heights candlelight vigil for Nepal earthquake victims


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

Photos by Pralay Rajbhandari

Jackson Heights and the surrounding communities have come together to show the victims of this weekend’s magnitude-7.8 earthquake in Nepal that they are not alone.

Members of the Queens Nepalese community and the New York Nepalese Football Club have begun a fundraising campaign to collect money that will buy necessary items for families left devastated after the earthquake hit the country on Saturday, claiming more than 3,200 lives.

“Whenever these things happen, we get together,” said Pralay Rajbhandari, a player and member of the New York Nepalese Football Club. “We are all united for this great cause.”

Rajbhandari, who has been living in Jackson Heights for eight years, has his whole family in Nepal and spent hours trying to contact them after the earthquake hit. He was finally able to contact his father and found out that his home in Nepal had partially collapsed and his family is currently staying at a shelter.

“It was heartbreaking,” Rajbhandari said. “After I heard the news I was trying to find [my family] but finally after a few hours I talked to my father. There is panic everywhere and the fear is still there. The whole country is in pain right now.”

Photo by Cristina Furlong

Photo by Cristina Furlong

On Sunday, close to a thousand people gathered in Jackson Heights to hold a candlelight vigil and pray for loved ones in Nepal. By the end of the day, $24,000 was collected.

“I was surprised. So many people came, so much support,” Rajbhandari said. “It was not only Nepalese people. All people donated generously and the figure is still going up.”

Councilman Daniel Dromm also attended the Sunday vigil to show his support.

“My heart goes out to the thousands of families who have lost someone in the catastrophic earthquake that hit Nepal on Saturday,” Dromm said. “On Sunday, I joined many of my constituents in Diversity Plaza as a show of support for the earthquake victims. Many established organizations such as Adhikaar, the Red Cross and UNICEF need our support in the form of cash contributions. This is the best way to help right now.”

The organizers of Sunday’s vigil are currently still set up at Diversity Plaza, located at 73rd Street and 37th Road, and are accepting monetary donations as well as clothes or other items.

The president of the New York Nepalese Football Club, Wangla Lama, traveled to Nepal after the quake and is visiting shelters and writing down what people need.

Rajbhandari said that people in Nepal are in dire need of food, water, tents and blankets, and that any kind of donation would help. He also encourages people to donate to the Red Cross.

Photo by Cristina Furlong

Photo by Cristina Furlong

He added that some members of the club have also applied to head to Nepal to volunteer and are just waiting to get the permission to travel.

Assemblyman Francisco Moya, who represents parts of Jackson Heights, is also opening his office for any members of Queens’ Nepalese and South Asian communities who are in need of assistance.

“To New York’s Nepalese community, I send this message—the family of New York is behind you and we will support you in your time of need,” Moya said. “All of New York mourns with you in this moment of sadness.”

A candlelight vigil is expected to be held this Friday at 8 p.m. in Times Square. Anyone who is looking to donate or who has any questions on how they can help can contact Rajbhandari at 347-891-9841.

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Hundreds attend Queens candlelight vigil for slain officers


| ejankiewicz@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Eric Jankiewicz

Hundreds of people gathered outside the 107th precinct on Tuesday night during a candlelight vigil for slain police Officers Wenjian Liu and Rafael Ramos.

Standing beside pictures of the two murdered officers and bracing themselves against the cold evening air, several elected officials addressed the crowd and urged them to commemorate the fallen cops through love and not use the incident as a political tool.

“We’re here to remember the lives of two brave police officers,” said Carolann Foley, president of the 107th Precinct’s Community Council and one of the organizers of the vigil. “We must come together during this time and comfort each other.”

The candlelight vigil in Fresh Meadows was one of the largest in the borough and it served as a call for an end to the disharmony that has rattled the city. The event was attended by officers forand community councils from the 100th, 101st, 102nd, 103rd, 105th, 106th, 107th and 113th precincts.

Assistant Chief David Barrere, commanding officer of Patrol Borough Queens South, the organization that coordinated the event, thanked people for coming out in the cold to show their support for the police. 

Across Queens, similar events have taken place.

In Hamilton Beach, residents, elected officials and police from the 106th Precinct got together on Tuesday to hang 200 blue ribbons on utility poles around the neighborhood, showing their support for the NYPD.

“I’m the daughter of a retired police officer,” said Charlene O’Dea, a Hamilton Beach resident. “I want to show my support for the NYPD.”

Over the weekend, Ramos’ wake and funeral were held in Glendale, with thousands of police and others in attendance and lining the streets.

Foley originally expected the candlelight vigil to only be attended by 200 people, but she soon realized that many more would be attending.

“This is the community doing this, not the police,” Foley said. “And all of these people are coming to simply pray. What could be better than that right now for the city?”

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Elmhurst vigil marks one month since Typhoon Haiyan


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

Photo Courtesy of Councilmember Daniel Dromm's Office

A month after what is expected to be one of the most powerful typhoons ever recorded hit the Philippines, the local Filipino community is coming together to remember those lost.

Local elected officials gathered Sunday with members of the National Alliance for Filipino Concerns (NAFCON) at St. James Episcopal Church in Elmhurst to mark the one month anniversary since Typhoon Haiyan hit, during a candlelight vigil, followed by an interfaith mass.

“My heart goes out to those individuals impacted,” said Councilmember Daniel Dromm. “In the face of disaster it is encouraging to see communities pull together to lend support. Groups such as Taskforce Haiyan, which gives 100 percent of donations to the cause, are an integral step towards recovery.”

Haiyan affected many areas of Southeast Asia after making landfall on November 8 in the Samara province of the Philippines, then traveling through the central part of the country, according to reports. It then made its way into the South China Sea, striking Vietnam, but as a much weaker storm.

It is reported to be the deadliest typhoon to hit the Philippine region, affecting more than 12 million people and leaving many in need of water, food, and medical supplies. To date there are  5,924 victims who lost their lives to the storm, according to published reports.

“In light of such great tragedy, it is heartwarming to see people come together, even from halfway around the world, to dedicate their time and energy to helping those who have lost everything,” said Senator Toby Ann Stavisky. “I would like to congratulate NAFCON on their tremendous fundraising to support the relief work in the Philippines and would like to offer my continued support for the rebuilding effort.”

NAFCON is working together with grassroots organizations, consisting of church groups and students, in the Philippines to ensure the money raised will go directly to those who need it the most. Donations can be made here through the NAFCON PayPal account.

 

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