Last night, about 20 Ohio University students gathered on College Green despite mud, grass stains and bugs to pray for those affected by the tornado that hit Athens Thursday.

Students arrived in sweatpants, skirts and bare feet and sat down in small circles on the green for prayer and discussion.

Jeremy King, a junior studying world religions and Campus Crusade for Christ member, organized the event after last week’s storm.

“I think it’s important, because as OU students, we really need to be more thankful for the Athens community; the storm was a way to bring us together to pray for the people of Athens,” King said. “I hope that both Christians and non-believers will come together and understand that prayer can indeed affect things, and that God really is in charge and controls even the storms.”

Although some students heard about the event through word of mouth, it was mainly publicized through a Facebook invitation. Although the event listed 185 people as “attending” and another 205 as “maybe attending,” the total attendees numbered around 20.

Aaron Grassel, a sophomore studying political science, said the event’s time may have prevented some students who were out of town from attending. Grassel was in Columbus this weekend but returned in time for the vigil.

“I think this needs to be done,” he said. “I hope (students’) eyes will be opened, that we realize that everything we work for in life can be taken away so easily.”

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