PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — An overwhelming outpouring of support for a family whose 2 children were swept out to the Pacific Ocean was on display at a vigil Wednesday night in Manzanita.
The father, Jeremy Stiles, 47, is recovering from hypothermia at Seaside Hospital. His daughter Lola, 7, died at a hospital, while the body of 4-year-old William has not been recovered.
They were walking along a beach trail when a sneaker wave came up and pulled them into the ocean.
Dozens of people filled a room at the Hoffman Center for the Arts in Manzanita on Wednesday to mourn the devastating loss. Most of those in attendance didn’t know the Stiles family but wanted them to know they were grieving with them.
Letters and thoughts were shared from people throughout the coastal community who have been rattled by the tragedy.
Vineeta Lower was one of the few people in the room who personally knew the Stiles. She spoke up moments before the service ended to tell everyone how much Lola and William were loved by their father and mother, Jamie Stiles.
“She loved those children with every fiber in her being,” Lower said.
There is also a Montavilla Community vigil set for 6 p.m. on Thursday at Vestal Elementary, the school Lola attended.
Everyone is welcome. Organizers ask attendees to wear purple, because that was the children’s favorite color.
A family-posted GoFundMe page has received nearly 2000 donations from individuals, businesses and corporations as of 4 p.m. Wednesday.
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