Detroit students to gather, pay tribute to Sandy Hook victims

Children gather with Friends of Detroit City Airport to light candles

Published On: Dec 19 2012 11:00:33 PM EST

Detroit school children will gather on Thursday for the Friends of Detroit City Airport's 10th annual "Community Christmas Celebration."

The Detroit students will meet at the main terminal of the Coleman A. Young International Airport on Detroit's east side. The organization said it will light a candle at 4:20 p.m. in memorial tribute for the 20 school children who were killed from Newtown, Connecticut.

"We know that a lot of children in Detroit are exposed to violence and hear gunshots regularly in their neighborhoods, but to learn about children killed while at school has been very traumatic for them," said Beverly Kindle-Walker, coordinator of the program.

Local religious leaders will be present to offer prayers.

The organization said Santa will also make an appearence at the event by plane. Nearly 500 children will receive toys and books that have been donated from the community. Walled Lake toy manufacturer American Plastic Toys has donated 150 toys, and Detroit Police Department's Eastern District Commander Steven Dolunt delivered some toys to the organization last Friday.

Friends of Detroit City Airport says toy and book donations are still needed and appreciated, as well as pizza.

SPECIAL COVERAGE: Connecticut School Shooting