A candlelight vigil will be held Wednesday at the Angel of Hope statue at Westgate Park.

The vigil will be held at 7 p.m. regardless of the weather conditions and will honor the memory of children who have died. Local businessman Steve Hardwick spearheaded efforts to build the statue after volunteering for several fundraising efforts for terminally ill children.

Hardwick said that in his discussions with parents of deceased children, one of their greatest concerns was the fear that their children would be forgotten. Hardwick said the Angel of Hope statue provides a visible reminder of those children’s lives and provides a rallying point for the community.

The statue is derived from “The Christmas Box,” a bestselling book and television movie by author Richard Paul Evans. Hardwick said the statue is one of more than 130 like it around the world.

Hardwick said he is proud of the local community for constructing the statue. He continues to raise funds for families of sick children.

“It’s very humbling,” he said. “They help me more than I help them.”​