MARION, S.C. (WBTW) — The Marion County Sheriff’s Office will host an inaugural night of Hope and Healing at 6 p.m. April 27 at the Ebenezer Methodist Church.

The event seeks to shed light on crime and help communities heal through conversation, organizers said. Meals will be provided and there will also be a candlelight vigil to honor the victims.

Wanda Leggett, a victim advocate with the sheriff’s office, said the event will give families who have lost a loved one to murder a chance to share the victim’s story. It’s designed to allow community members and surviving family members an opportunity to talk about their deceased loved one in a positive way and share how they’re moving forward with the loss.

Another goal is to help people learn from the tragedy.

“It is all about the family,” Legette said. “We don’t want to talk about how they got killed or anything like that. We want to talk about the positive things.” 

Leggett said approximately nine families are planning to be at the event.

Tammny Erwin, another victim advocate with the sheriff’s office, put the event together after noticing a need for such an event.

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Taylor Ford is a digital journalist for News13. She joined the News13 team in January 2023. Taylor is a Florence native and covers the Pee Dee out of News13’s Florence Bureau. Read more of Taylor’s work here.