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Families remember loved ones at Angel Tree event

12/6/2012 - West Side Leader
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By Kathleen Folkerth and Maria Lindsay

Photos: Ken Crisafi
DOWNTOWN AKRON — Families and friends of local residents who were victims of homicide had the chance to reflect and remember their loved ones at the Victim Assistance Program’s (VAP) annual Angel Tree Ceremony Dec. 3. The event in the Atrium at the Oliver Ocasek Building allowed attendees to share their remembrances and place angel ornaments on Christmas trees to memorialize lives lost. Ornaments waiting to be hung are shown below left.

Among those who participated was Kimberly Lockett, the mother of Anthony Felding, who was killed at age 21 after being shot in Akron. Lockett is pictured at right top as she hangs an angel ornament on a tree for her son.

Shown at right bottom are Keara McKay, 5, and her mother, Priscilla Randall, of Akron, who participated and hung an ornament in memory of Randall’s brother, Jim Randall, who was killed in 1996.

Akron Police Chief James Nice was the featured speaker at the event. In addition, members of the city’s Peace Makers youth group were on hand to hang ornaments for victims whose family members could not attend.

Founded in 1972, VAP provides confidential and free services to victims of crime in Summit County. VAP is the only program that is on the scene at homicides, suicides, traffic fatalities and death notifications, according to VAP officials. The organization offers a staffed, 24-hour Crisis Line (330-376-0040) providing crisis counseling, safety planning, referrals to VAP or other organizations, advocacy with the police and other services. For more information, visit www.victimassistanceprogram.org.

— By Kathleen Folkerth


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