MACHESNEY PARK (WIFR) -- The woman who started a group that brings the families of homicide victims together.. is among those being remembered. Carol McFeggan was killed in 2009. The annual event is giving support to those who lost a loved one in similar crimes.
It's a unique group, no family wants to join.
"Everybody here has a tragic story to tell."
Yet dozens of those stories have turned these families from strangers to friends.
Art and Kelly Krezner's son Christopher was killed by a drunk driver three years ago. "I miss the most that I can't hug him and tell him I love him," said Kelly Krezner.
That's when the Krezner's became part of the homicide survivor's group an organization Kelly says helps her to heal.
"We do need each other, our community is an epidemic, whether it's DUI, shooting, crime we need to ban together as a community," said Krezner.
"What you see here is only a handful of victims."
Several families are reuniting to pay tribute to their lost loved ones during the 9th Annual Carol Mcfeggan Memorial Service. People lit candles and released balloons with special notes in honor of victims of violent crimes.
Fred Halsted's son was shot in the head during a home invasion in 2007. He says although it's a hard time, it's reassuring to see those who understand his pain.
"Walking into this it's kind of a different kind of relief, because you see people that you've been with for years, and you know their story, and you hear other stories and hate to say this, you have new people coming in and it just, it brings you together like a collective," said Halsted.
A group Halsted says brings hope to help heal the pain felt by dozens of families and friends.
The 9th Annual Carol McFeggan Homicide Victim Memorial Service will be held tonight.
The service will honor the memory of victims of violent crimes. It will start at 6 p.m. at Riverside Community Church located at 6816 North 2nd Street in Machesney Park.
The service will consist of the lighting of candles, the releasing of balloons at river's edge and bagpipes performed by Aaron Kerr. Survivors are asked to bring a framed photo of their loved one. Refreshments will be served.
The memorial is hosted by the Homicide Survivors' Support Group, Victim Service Providers, Winnebago County State's Attorney's Office, and Riverside Community Church.
The support group was founded in 2004 by Barb Stone, Addie Wilson, Rev. Dr. William Richard Kerr and Carol McFeggan.