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As I’m sure all of you Q’Stoners are aware, a devastating earthquake in Nepal has shattered the landscape and left thousands dead. A round-the-clock vigil has been under way for a few days on 37th Avenue in Jackson Heights, which is home to much of New York City’s Nepali community.

Yesterday, I walked over from Astoria to visit with our neighbors in their time of need and offer condolences. I was lucky enough to speak to some members of the Hyolmo Youth Club while I was there.

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Last night, over a hundred Sunnyside residents gathered outside Sunnyside Reformed Church to commemorate the lives lost in the tragic shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School. Particularly, the group was paying tribute to the victims who had ties to the neighborhood: six-year-old Ben Wheeler lived in Sunnyside as a baby, and the step-sister of principal Dawn Hochsprung also lives in Sunnyside.

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Image Source: City Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer

Sunnyside native Benjamin Andrew Wheeler was among the victims of the recent shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School. To honor this beloved six-year-old and his grieving family – and all who are reeling from this tragedy – the community will gather at Sunnyside Reformed Church today, December 18. Participants will then proceed together to Sunnyside Gardens Park, where Ben and his older brother used to spend countless hours before moving to Connecticut about two years ago. Principal Dawn Hochsprung, who reportedly died valiantly trying to save others from the triggerman, also has family in Queens. Please bring candles and expect songs and speeches. Woodside’s Aubergine Café will provide hot cocoa.

Candlelight Vigil in Memory of Sandy Hook Victims
Sunnyside Reformed Church
48th Street and Skillman Avenue, Sunnyside
Tuesday, December 18
6pm – 7pm | FREE!