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Massive candlelight vigil underway in Oxford, businesses helping raise money

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Posted at 6:27 PM, Dec 03, 2021

OXFORD, Mich. (WXYZ) — At 7 p.m., a massive candlelight vigil is scheduled to take place on the streets of downtown Oxford.

CLICK HERE TO WATCH LIVE STREAMING COVERAGE OF THE VIGIL

Center stage is set up at Washington and Burdick Street. Several thousand people are expected to attend.

Organizers say various shuttles deployed, picking people up in Oxford and Lake Orion for the event. Oxford Bank is one of the establishments contributing to the vigil by providing 5,000 candles with the help of Bishop Robert Fisher.

"We just wanna help. It's what the bank stands for, and we just wanna help wherever the community needs it," Nancy Rosentrater, the bank's chief experience officer said.

Also, Rosentrater said bank employees will be walking around the vigil with marked orange bags to collect donations for the victims' families. She said the bank set up a donation account, and the community has responded.

"It has been overwhelming, and the fund is growing by the minute," Rosentrater explained.

She says it's being done in conjunction with the Downtown Development Authority and Oxford schools. Rosentrater says people can donate directly at one of the bank branches, online, and over the phone.

Down the street, at Sick Pizza Company, Scott Taylor is passing out free pizza with help from a band of volunteers and accepting donations for victims as well.

Taylor explained to 7 Action News, "This is about a community coming together and hopefully making an obscene amount of money for the victims of this tragedy."

The co-owner of Sick Pizza Company says his shop raised $10,000 yesterday and another $11,000 as of 5 p.m. today.

"We're going to keep it going. I'm going to have as many pizzas as I can make for the vigil and give them to people, donation or not," Taylor said.

The tragedy hits close to home for both establishments.

Rosentrater explained, "We had an employee who, she was unfortunately one of the children who were shot. She's okay, today. She's recovering but... well I say okay physically, but emotionally people will never be the same."