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FAIRBURY, Ill., (WCIA) — Friends, family, teachers and community members honored two teenagers on Saturday night. Many say they helped shape their Livingston County town. Everyone is grieving together, but trying to find peace with a candlelight vigil.
Last week, family members in Fairbury got the news that no one wanted to hear.
Dylan Bazzell and Drew Fehr died in a sledding accident in Colorado while on spring break. They were students at Prairie Central High School.
The vigil was somber and heartbreaking, but also peaceful, beautiful and full of prayer.
Hundreds packed into the First Baptist Church in Fairbury and then walked over to the memorial set up at the high school’s football field.
Everyone emphasized how the boys could make anyone smile, and would always sign autographs for kids after athletic events. They made big impacts on the football field and basketball court, but also in the classroom and town.
The school’s basketball coach said all he wants to do is wrap his arms around them, but he’s grateful for his chance to lead the two athletes.
He said more importantly, he’s thankful they created a family atmosphere among the team.
Chastity Pick, a teacher at Prairie Central, helped organize Saturday’s vigil. She said she wanted to help bring everyone together.
“The candlelight vigil is just another way to express just how important they were to us,” Pick said.” Whether we were their teachers, which I had the honor of being their teacher, or if you’re a little kid just watching them play basketball. They were immensely important in our community, to our sports, in our classrooms and to the community at large.”
It’s not just the Fairbury community remembering Dylan and Drew. Nearby Fisher schools wore blue and white last week to support the Prairie Central community. The staff at Mahomet-Seymour wore their school colors as well.
On Saturday, some track and field athletes in Central Illinois wore blue wristbands. They also created a memorial at the meet as another way to keep their memories alive.
Next week, Monticello schools are raising money for both families. They’ll be collecting donations and hosting bake sales during the lunch periods. They’ll also wear blue and white on Thursday when their baseball and softball teams play Prairie Central.