Choking back tears, friends of Jordyn Rivera on Saturday remembered a young woman who was always happy.
“The girl always had a smile on her face,” said Lance Reichenberger.
Rivera, 21, was one of the shooting victims at last weekend’s Route 91 Harvest country music festival in Las Vegas. She died in the arms of her mother, Mary, according to family friend Mike Schrader.
Saturday’s night vigil took place in Las Flores Park in Rivera’s hometown, La Verne. The park is within earshot of Bonita High School, from which she graduated in 2014.
A large crowd gathered around a covered picnic table in darkness mostly illuminated by their white candles.
Many of the speakers who came to the microphone were Bonita classmates, who remembered sleepovers, late night Pokémon Go hunts and the way Rivera, an athletic trainer, kept up the spirits of the football team.
Rivera had been in her fourth year of a healthcare management program at Cal State San Bernardino.
The crowd included classmates and faculty from CSUSB.
Rivera was a member of Eta Sigma Gamma. The health education honors society has set up one of two GoFundMe accounts to help the Rivera family.
Other speakers included church members who spoke of the strength of Rivera’s Christian faith and included in their memories prayers and words of encouragement for her mother, father Albert and brother Vincent.
“Looking at this crowd I’m seeing that Albert and Mary did exactly what the Bible said to do, train up your child in the ways of the Lord,” said Raichenberger. “Thank you for all you’ve done for me, and Jordyn’s smile”
CSUSB will also hold a vigil for Rivera at 4:30 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 10, according to spokesman Joe Gutierrez. It will take place on campus at the lower commons patio, 5500 University Parkway, San Bernardino.
There will be a celebration of life 11 a.m. Oct. 19 at Calvary Chapel Chino Valley, 12205 Pipeline Ave., Chino, according to Schrader. A viewing will precede the service.