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Vigil planned to honor teen killed in Easter wreck
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Steven Ballowe, superintendent of Gainesville city schools, discusses what he views as important about Saturday’s annual retreat.
GAINESVILLE — Songs and spoken remembrances are planned as part of a candlelight vigil tonight for Charles Caston, a North Hall High School senior who died in an April 8 car wreck.

The event is set for 7 p.m. in the gymnasium of the Georgia Mountains YMCA at 2455 Howard Road off Ga. 365.

Caston worked for more than a year for the YMCA, but never saw completion of the new building.

Brent Pentenburg, ministry coordinator and a North Hall classmate of Caston’s, is helping to organize tonight’s event.

Several speakers are planned, including YMCA chief executive officer Mike Brown and sports director Jason Walters, as well as Caston’s best friend, Dayton Preslar, he said.

The event also will feature music by Cody Marlowe.

"Then we’ll have a candlelight ceremony and a moment of silence," Pentenburg said. "Then we’ll have a prayer ... and a closing song."

The YMCA is expecting about 300 attendees. "We sent over a thousand invitations," Pentenburg said.

The organization also plans to dedicate a plaque in Caston’s memory.

The 18-year-old died on Easter Sunday.

He was traveling to church with his family when the driver of another car struck the family’s vehicle on Clarks Bridge Road.

The Castons’ vehicle flipped over, killing Caston at the scene.

His sister, Claire, still faces additional surgery as doctors work to repair the damage left in the wake of the wreck.

Caston’s death was widely felt. In addition to the YMCA, he was active in church and at school.

"He was a fun guy to be around,
always energetic," Pentenburg said.

For more information about the event, call 770-297-9622 or e-mail

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