Bodega holds vigil for Reagan Tokes


COLUMBUS, Ohio -- The windows at Bodega Café shined a little brighter Sunday night as flowers and candles lit up the store front. The makeshift memorial was made in honor of Reagan Tokes, an Ohio State University student who was recently murdered and worked at the restaurant.

Bouquets of flowers were hand delivered to the vigil. Some were brought by family friends, others by Columbus Police Officers. Yet some were brought by people who did not know Reagan Tokes, but simply wanted to pay their respects.

“I wanted to support our community,” said Dave Bjelovuk, who did not know Tokes but lives in the area. “It's a tragedy. I mean there's no other way to describe it…I've lived in this neighborhood for the past 5 years. I've never felt unsafe walking home. But it just goes to show you the crazy world we live in.”

Owners of Bodega Cafe did not allow cameras inside the vigil because they wanted to keep the event sacred. But, those who were inside say it was a time of bonding and healing.

“All the different managers and owners of the place basically told us if we ever feel uncomfortable or we need a ride home or a walk home or a walk to our car or Uber or anything -- that was sort of what the initial sentiment was,” said Maura Williott, who also attended the vigil.

She says there was a moment of silence, followed by stories shared by those who knew Tokes.

The idea was to create a feeling of safety in the midst of tragedy.

“It's really nice to know that we have people who have our backs and are trying to make sure that this doesn't happen again,” said Williott.

The vigil lasted about two hours with musical tributes surrounded by candlelight.

According to a Facebook post by Bodega Columbus, proceeds from Sunday’s event will be donated to the Reagan Tokes Scholarship Fund.

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