Ceremony to honor victims of violence and provide support for families and loved ones left behind

Jeffrey Maldonado, an aspiring artist and musician, was fatally shot on the day after his 19th birthday in 2009 in Pilsen.

Cassandra Suggs-McRoy was strangled by her abusive husband after obtaining an order of protection against him in 2002.

They are just two of the homicide victims to be memorialized on Saturday at UIC during a special ceremony led by county prosecutors that will also recognize the surviving families and loved ones.

The parents of Maldonado and Suggs-McRoy will be among the speakers at the event, arranged by the State’s Attorney’s Victim Witness Assistance Unit.

State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez will recognize surviving loved ones at the ceremony, designed to “memorialize victims of violent crime and to help survivors embrace and honor those lost to violence,” a spokesman for the state’s attorney’s office said.

Along with the memorials and personal reflections, the event will include an on-site support group for those looking for help; and a display of more than 100 photo boards assembled by family members with photos of those lost to violence.

The free event begins at 11 a.m. at the UIC Forum at 725 W. Roosevelt Rd.

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