WESTFIELD, NJ — Almost 300 people attended a prayer service at St. Helen's Church Wednesday evening for Linda Fazio, the 6-year-old girl hospitalized after she nearly drowned at Westfield Memorial Pool on Saturday afternoon.
The service was led by Father Michael Saporito. His message was one of hope for the girl.
"Father Saporito wanted Linda and her family to feel the love and support of the community and the power of prayer and preying together," said Tricia McGlynn, director of religious education for the church for grades K-5. McGlynn also read a prayer at the service.
"I'm here because it's right," said Marcie Yates, who has a son at Westfield High School and heard of the prayer service through TAP into Westfield. "I want the child to have a chance. It doesn't matter what faith you are. It's just so sad. We just need one more person to pray for her."
Fazio completed first grade at Tamaques Elementary School on Friday. Among those in attendance Wednesday were Tamaques School Principal David Dulkes and Westfield Superintendent of Schools Dr. Margaret Dolan.
In addition to the prayers and songs provided by the church, a special Hebrew prayer was led by Jenn and Steven Goldstein.
A GoFundMe site created to help the Fazio family has raised more than $32,000 since Monday. To contribute, click here.
A frequent contributor to TAP into Westfield, Mike Cohen is the founder/director of Throwback Sports (a sports program for children of all abilities) and the sports editor of Education Update. He can be reached at email@example.com.