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Florida man put in motion Manteca memorial gathering

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POSTED December 20, 2012 12:49 a.m.

It was a 42-year-old Florida man who got the ball rolling for a memorial that has reached around the world including in Manteca Friday morning for the children and teachers lost their lives  at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut last week.

Kevin Van Over is an entertainer who puts on festivals for non-profit organizations in the South. He has had a soft spot in his heart for others facing tragic events since losing his 39-year-old brother two years ago.

“It has been overwhelming,” he said by phone Wednesday of his effort that has gone viral.  “My phone has not stopped ringing from places like England, Nigeria and Germany.  So many are asking what they can do.”

He said he is getting 35 to 50 calls a day.

Van Over has started a Facebook page entitled, “Memorial Page for the Victims at Sandy Hook Elementary School.”

The page has had some 382,000 hits with a total of 88,643,380 people reached.

“This page is dedicated to the families and victims of the Sandy Hook Elementary School tragedy,” he said.  “Feel free to leave your thoughts and prayers.  If you have nothing nice to say, please keep it to yourself.”

 Manteca residents have asked the community to gather at Yosemite Avenue and Main Street at 6:15 a.m. on Friday to match with the other time zones throughout the country.  Florida and New York on the East Coast will be honoring the school victims gathering at 9:15 with everyone wearing the green and white school colors.

Everyone has been asked to bring soap bubbles with them that will be blown into the air enmasse three minutes before the hour – 6:57 a.m in Manteca.

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