Angels commemorate school shooting victims
by Denise Ellen Rizzo
Dec 20, 2012 | 2967 views | 8 8 comments | 15 15 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Kayla Chelman (left) and Jordian Shippley check some of the paper angels on the window of the Rumors on 10th hair salon on Thursday, Dec. 20 memorializing the young shooting victims in Newtown, Conn.  Glenn Moore/Tracy Press
Kayla Chelman (left) and Jordian Shippley check some of the paper angels on the window of the Rumors on 10th hair salon on Thursday, Dec. 20 memorializing the young shooting victims in Newtown, Conn. Glenn Moore/Tracy Press
Tanya Garcia Will was 3,000 miles away when a gunman destroyed the lives of 20 children and six educators in a Connecticut elementary school on Friday, Dec. 14, but the desire to share her sorrow was overwhelming.

Surrounded by co-workers and customers, the mother of two sons, ages 8 and 20, found herself glued to the television in her hair salon, Rumors on 10th, throughout the day.

As news unfolded of the devastation at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., Will said she began to think of a way to pay tribute to the lost lives.

“It comes from me being a mom,” she said. “This hits home.”

On Saturday, Dec. 15, she approached her apprentice Jordian Shippley and student Kayla Chelman in her salon at 118 W. 10th St. and told them, “I have a project for you.”

She instructed them to make 20 angels, each cut from a sheet of paper.

“They had no idea what I was talking about,” she said. “It was all in my head.”

The next step was finding the right words to write on the angels before taping them to her salon window. Not knowing the names of the victims, she had her helpers write “little angel” and Friday’s date.

Later that day, she read the names of the Sandy Hook victims in a newspaper at Barista’s coffee shop next door to the salon. She immediately told Shippley and Chelman to take down all the angels and add the first name of a child to each — and make six more to represent the fallen educators.

When the angels were completed and back in the salon window, Will organized an evening vigil for Sunday, Dec. 16, at the city holiday tree in the plaza at Sixth Street and Central Avenue.

She led an hour-long gathering of friends and strangers listening to Christmas songs playing on her iPhone before the glow of vigil candles.

Sitting in her salon Wednesday, Dec. 19, Will said she feels a bit of pride every time she sees someone stop and take a moment to look at the angels in her salon window.

“I’m glad it’s being noticed,” she said. “This is a small town and that was a small town. … To me this affected our whole world. This was devastating, and we needed something to bring people together.”

The angels will remain in the salon window until Christmas Eve, when she and her husband, Thomas, and her 8-year-old son, Cole, will take them down and “put them to rest.”

• Contact Denise Ellen Rizzo at 830-4225 or
Comments-icon Post a Comment
December 21, 2012
sorry to see monkeys losing their guns
December 21, 2012

Us 'monkeys" are smarter than you sheep.
December 20, 2012
will we have a vigil for the second amendment thats about to get flushed by our liberal power hungry white house leader? just sayin.
December 20, 2012
What is a holiday tree???
December 20, 2012
Welcome to Tracy, land of the evolved.
December 20, 2012
did you have to get a picture of people smiling and all happy???? Kind of tasteless from the first look at it. Why not just a picture of the window with the angels instead of happy smiling faces??? Seriously....that is the only smile i have seen connected to this event in over a week!!!
December 20, 2012
Those two girls were the most somber of them all, and did all of the work, A...

And, believe me, it was no light task to make representations of children that never got a chance to live, laugh and love, to the hearts fullest potential...

Smiles are a nice change after a week of frowns...

December 21, 2012
If all you got from the picture was 'smiling faces', you truly missed an opportunity to understand a community of young people coming together to pay tribute to these victims. I salute them and thank God for young people with hearts full of compassion & thoughtfulness. READER IN TEXAS, DOLO

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