(October 15, 2006) -- In an emotionally wrenching and simultaneously uplifting gathering outside ELB's St. Joseph Church (Willow @ Palo Verde), community members held a second candlelight vigil for the recovery Elisa Gigliotti, a 30+ year LB resident and Professor of Italian and Spanish at LBCC fighting to overcome severe burns sustained October 4 when a motorcyclist traveling at roughly 80 mph slammed into her four door compact as it turned north onto Faculty Ave. from Carson St.
The group of roughly 150 well-wishers on Sunday night Oct. 15 formed a large circle...and husband Lorenzo Gigliotti (across circle in distance) stood alongside familymembers and described in poignant terms the events of that day...and the difficult days that followed.
Mr. Gigliotti devoted over half of his remarks to thanking people -- rescuers, doctors, nurses, firefighters, paramedics, coworkers, students, friends, neighbors...and people he'd never met -- for all they've done to help Lisa...and for their supportive messages and their prayers.
His description of his wife's fighting spirit, and his own gratitude to others, left many in the crowd visibly moved.
As Mr. Gigliotti spoke (in foreground alongside his daughter), Press-Telegram scribe Tom Hennessy and his wife watched from across the supportive circle.
Also attending was LB City College Board of Trustee president Roberto Uranga (partly obscured in photo by man in foreground) who spoke eloquently of Prof. Gigliotti as a member of the LBCC family. Board president Uranga conveyed the support and wishes of the entire Board of Trustees...and was among the first to sign a list pledging his personal assistance when Prof. Gigliotti returns home.
Spouse/Councilwoman Tonia Reyes Uranga (center left in photo above) spoke from the heart in stating her belief the power of prayer...and led the crowd (arms outstretched) in a prayer for Lisa.
Also present (not photographed): Gloria Cordero, spouse of Harbor Commissioner Mario Cordero and now doing community work for Mayor Bob Foster. Hayley Brandt, a member of LBCC's (now former) debate team (who's now attending CSULB). And Diana Harrelson, a neighbor of the Gigliottis who provided our readers with a description of the Oct. 8 candlelight vigil for Prof. Gigliotti.
Ms. Harrelson followed Mr. Gigliotti's remarks...and said with confidence that she has no doubt Lisa will be coming home to ELB...and that she and her friends will be there to greet her when she does.
A number of those present wrote messages on a large banner, expressing warm wishes to Lisa and the Gigliotti family.
KaRi (who operates www.theprimespot.com and TPSradio.org) came up with an inspired use of digital technology: she brought her digital audio recorder and microphone to capture the voices and supportive personal words of well-wishers...so Prof. Gigliotti can hear their voices.
Husband Lorenzo Gigliotti, a pioneering LB internet expert and webmaster, has also created a website with information about wife Lisa...and how LB residents can help. It's at www.ourlisa.com.