by Cori Hilsgen
An Angel of Hope Vigil will be Thursday, Dec. 6, at the Angel of Hope statue by Lake Francis in Sartell.
The event will begin with a small indoor program at 6:30 p.m. at the Sartell Community Center, 850 19th St. S., and a vigil will take place at the base of the Angel around 7 p.m.
The Angel of Hope night is not part of the Country Lights Festival and the lights are typically off from 6:45-7:30 p.m. during the vigil.
Visitors can attend the vigil in memory of their child, friend, neighbor or family. Light refreshments will be served after the vigil.
What Would Bri Do Inc. donated the angel as a memorial where parents and families who are mourning can find solace. The $14,500 cost of the angel was covered by the nonprofit’s annual fundraiser. The city of Sartell contributed to the cost of the base and provided the land to place the statue.
The Christmas Box Angel of Hope was first introduced by an international best-selling book and television movie, “The Christmas Box,” written by Richard Paul Evans.
What Would Bri Do Inc. was formed by Randy and Tami Kruzel after their 18-year-old daughter, BriAnna Rose Kruzel, died unexpectedly due to unknown natural causes in 2013.
BriAnna gave much of her time helping and volunteering for others. In an attempt to honor her legacy of giving back, her parents and two brothers, Josh Kulus and Brandon Kruzel, established the nonprofit with a mission “dedicated to supporting people and organizations in need while being a force for positivity in the world.”
The family is currently working to bring a grief lodge to Central Minnesota. After visiting Faith Lodge in Danbury, Wis., and spending four days and three nights with three other couples who also tragically lost their children, Randy and Tami were inspired to help build a similar space for people in need.
Faith Lodge offers a peaceful escape for families who are grieving the loss of a child to refresh their minds and hearts while spending time with others who understand what they are going through.
After their visit to Faith Lodge, Randy and Tami said they found a sense of hope in their grief journey and they have made it their personal mission to bring a similar idea to the area. They hope to build a place for people in the area to find solace and comfort with others who are grieving.
Although it is not required, organizers ask people to register online for the vigil under Angel of Hope Candlelight Vigil on Eventbrite.com.
For additional information about What Would Bri Do, visit the wwbdinc.org website.