Colorado Theater Shooting Survivor To Speak At Rescue Mission's Banquet

By Emma Koch - 21Alive

Colorado Theater Shooting Survivor To Speak At Rescue Mission's Banquet

October 9, 2013 Updated Oct 11, 2013 at 10:45 AM EDT

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (21Alive) - A survivor of the Aurora, Colorado theater shooting will speak at the Rescue Mission's Annual Celebration Banquet about the importance of community forgiveness and reconciliation in the wake of adversity.


On October 17, 2013 at 6 p.m., The Rescue Mission will hold its Annual Celebration Banquet at the Landmark Conference Centre in Fort Wayne.  2013 marks The Rescue Mission’s 110th year of serving the needy and changing lives in the Fort Wayne community. 


The event provides an opportunity for supporters to hear testimonies from Mission and learn more about the Mission’s work. This year, The Mission welcomes special guest, Aurora, Colorado theater shooting survivor, Pierce O’Farrill, as keynote speaker. O'Farrill, 29, still has shotgun pellets in his chest and a bullet lodged in his arm. Still, he says, as a devout Christian — and an employee of the Denver Rescue Mission — he forgives the man charged in the shootings.



“Given the recent rash of violence not only in our city, but also violence directed toward Fort Wayne’s homeless, we believe it is especially fitting that Mr. O’Farrill is joining us at this time to provide his experience and testimony to our community,” says Richard Cummins, The Rescue Mission’s Chief Development Officer.


Proceeds from the event will go toward provision of comprehensive security systems at the Mission to help ensure the safety of our residents, staff, volunteers and community. This year’s event has been made possible by the Rescue Mission's generous sponsors: Brotherhood Mutual Insurance Co., Do it Best Corp., and Dr. Gary Painter Dentistry.


In addition, O'Farrill will speak at the Community Forgivenes and Reconciliation Symposium on Oct. 16 at 6 p.m. at the Uran League (2135 S. Hanna St. Fort Wayne). This event is hosted by both the Rescue Mission and the Fort Wayne Urban League.


“We find ourselves grieving the loss of 33 members of our great city.  The Urban League and The Rescue Mission are saddened by this loss along with many others,” says Rev. Donovan Coley, CEO/Senior Pastor at The Rescue Mission. “We are convinced that this is a community challenge that deserves a community response and solution,” says Jonathan Ray, President/CEO of the Urban League.


With that in mind, the Urban League and The Rescue Mission have partnered together to host an event to open this dialogue among major stakeholders in our city.  The event has multiple purposes, including re-affirming what is good about our city, uniting the voices of key leaders on the issue of violence in our city, calling for healing, forgiveness and reconciliation among our citizens, and a call to prayer that would lead to action and finding a solution to the violence. Key government, religious, educational, law enforcement, and social service persons will be in attendance.


Tickets are still available bor the Rescue Mission Banquet but seating is limited. Cost is $60 for an individual ticket or $110 for a pair. For more information, or to purchase tickets, contact Richard Cummins at 260.426.7357 ext. 138, or via e-mail at richard@therescuemission.net.

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