The victims of Thursday’s shooting at Rite Aid Distribution Center will be remembered tonight during a vigil at Cranberry United Methodist Church.
The vigil, which starts at 7 p.m. at the church, at 1632 Perryman Road in Perryman, will offer a message of hope.
“There’s hope, even when we are so uncertain and unafraid,” Rev. Sarah Elliott, of the Cranberry church, said.
The church is less than 1 ½ miles away from the shooting site.
No one at the church was directly affected by the shooting, in which six people were shot, three fatally, before the woman shooting turned the gun on herself and later died.
“As Methodists, we believe the entire community is our parish, businesses and residences, so we respond to the needs of the community whenever possible,” Elliott said.
Various faith groups and traditions have been invited in addition to the community, she said. The vigil will include some liturgy led by Pastor Tiffany Patterson, but other faith leaders have also been invited to speak.
Elliott said they are planning to have the vigil outside to accommodate the 60 or so people expected to attend.
“Cranberry is a relatively small church, but we live in a community that’s very tight knit and it’s important to reach out and care about each other,” Elliott said.
Donations for the families of the people shot Thursday are being collected by the Victoria Russell Foundation, a non-profit corporation founded to help foster a strong relationship between the community and first responders.
“We are praying for those who live and work in Perryman, their families and our first responders,” the foundation said on its website, www.victorialrussell.org.
The foundation has established the Aberdeen Shooting Victims Fund.
It is the policy of the foundation to collect and distribute all funds donated equally to the victims of the shooting or their next of kin, according to its website.
Donations may be made in person or by mail at Victoria Russell Foundation, 424 N. Union Ave., Havre de Grace, MD 21078 or Howard Bank, 3 W. Bel Air Ave., Aberdeen, MD 21001.
Online donations may be made at www.gofundme.com/perryman-shooting-victims-fund.
Donations must be made payable to the Victoria Russell Foundation Aberdeen Shooting Victims Fund by check or money order. Cash will not be accepted. All funds donated are tax deductible as a 501(c)(3) contribution with IRS ID 81-0943983.
J.D. & Melissa Russell established the Victoria Russell Foundation in memorial to their daughter who passed away at the age of six weeks at the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at the University of Maryland Medical Center. After their loss, the Russells were overwhelmed with support from so many in the community, including many law enforcement officers and first responders. The Russells sought a cause to honor the memory of their daughter.
After the murder of two Harford County Sheriff's Senior Deputy Patrick Dailey and Deputy First Class Mark Logsdon in February 2016, the Russells felt the best way to honor the memory of their daughter was to help create a non-profit foundation to support and foster positive relationships between both the community and first responders.
The foundation’s first major fundraising effort was for the victims of the Advance Granite Shooting in Edgewood in 2017.