St. Clair Shores Community Gathers for a Vigil for Ben Hughes
Hundreds of members of the St. Clair Shores community gathered Sunday night in Wahby Park to pray for former City Manager Ben Hughes.
The community gathered Sunday night in Wahby Park in front of Blossom Heath Inn for a prayer vigil for former St. Clair Shores City Manager Ben Hughes.
Current and former city employees, representatives from all three school districts, local business owners, members of community service organizations, and residents were among the more than 200 people who attended the vigil.
"This is not a funeral, it is a time to pray," said Pastor Bryan Hochhalter of Grace Community Church in Detroit, who led the vigil.
Members of Hughes family were also in attendance at the vigil.
"Over the last couple of years my brother has really grown to love St. Clair Shores. This was his extended family," said Abe Hughes, Ben's brother, who said he didn't expect to see such a large turnout. "It means a lot to my family, and it means a lot to Ben."
Assistant City Manager Mike Smith said the turnout at the vigil "reaffirmed" why Hughes took on St. Clair Shores as his home and why he "loved" working with city employees and residents.
Smith added that city council was asked not to attend so there wouldn't be any distractions.
"We do want everyone here to keep Ben in their prayers," Smith said.
Additionally, city planner Liz Koto is creating a list of volunteers to help Ben and his wife in the weeks and months to come. Koto is creating a website to help with organizing volunteers to assist with meals, rake leaves and shovel snow.