Photo courtesy of Mayor Svante Myrick's Facebook page.

ITHACA, N.Y. — A brainstorming session for how to help the victims of the Orlando shooting is happening Monday (Today!) in downtown Ithaca.

The session is scheduled to happen from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. at the Bernie Milton Pavilion in the Commons.

On Sunday, more than 30 people attended a vigil at Washington Park to mourn those who were killed, and another vigil is happening  from  6:30 to 7:30 p.m. Tuesday at Bank Alley in the Commons.

According to the New York Times, around 2 a.m. Sunday morning, Omar Mateen killed 50 people and wounded 53 at Pulse, an LGBT club in Orlando. It was the worst terrorist attack on American soil since Sept. 11, 2001 and the worst mass shooting in American history. After about a three hour standoff with police, Mateen was killed in a shootout with officers.

The following was written on the Facebook page for the planning event Monday:

This is NOT an event or a vigil or a formal program – just an opportunity for us to come together and share our ideas on events, community photographs, fundraisers, and support initiatives that we can do together as a community to demonstrate our solidarity with Orlando.
Bring a chair – as there is no seating at the Pavillion – and a jacket because it might be chilly! And bring your good ideas, too!

In a social media post Monday, Mayor Svante Myrick said all flags in Ithaca are at half mast in honor and remembrance of victims of the attack.

“The City of Ithaca will forever stand with our LGBTQI family,” Myrick wrote.

The Ithaca Police Department also released a statement Monday on social media.

Written by police Chief John Barber, it reads:

The attacks in Orlando, Florida today remind us of the very real threat that occurs all too often in this country. As the Chief of the Ithaca Police Department, I want to extend our heartfelt condolences to the victims, their families, and all those touched by this deliberate act of terror. Please join me in sending strength and courage to the survivors as they fight to recover from this horrific act of violence. In such a tragic time the resolve of a community is often tested, but rarely defeated. Please keep the first responders in your prayers as they will undoubtedly struggle with what they witnessed as they responded to help the victims and stop the attack. Be vigilant as you walk through life, and report anything to the police that seems out of the ordinary or what you believe needs attention. Keep the Orlando community in your thoughts and prayers as we stand in solidarity with our fellow citizens and first responders.

If you are anyone you know needs to access LGBTQA resources, click here.  The website is a comprehensive list of resources in the area and was compiled by Ithaca College. 

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Jolene Almendarez

Jolene Almendarez is Managing Editor at The Ithaca Voice. She can be reached at; you can learn more about her at the links in the top right of this box.