April 18, 2024

IE COMMUNITY NEWS

El Chicano, Colton Courier, Rialto Record

Aristrong Foundation’s Annual Memorial Event Unites the Community and Provides Space for Support

2 min read
Under the bright evening sky, the event commenced with Chris Villalobos, President, and Founder of the Aristrong Foundation, introducing himself to the attendees. In his address, Villalobos empathetically acknowledged the deep void left by death and loss, emphasizing the Foundation's mission to foster unity within the community and offer solace and compassion to one another. In addition, the name "Cherished" was chosen to encourage families to hold on to their treasured memories, symbolizing the enduring power of love. Vice President John Villalobos further elevated the atmosphere, leading the assembly in prayer as the memorial progressed.

The Aristrong Foundation, an organization dedicated to providing solace and support to those coping with loss, held its second annual “Cherished Memorial” on Saturday, May 27th, at Fleming Park in the City of Colton. Family members gathered to remember their loved ones through a poignant candlelight vigil and a heartfelt slideshow.

Under the bright evening sky, the event commenced with Chris Villalobos, President, and Founder of the Aristrong Foundation, introducing himself to the attendees. In his address, Villalobos empathetically acknowledged the deep void left by death and loss, emphasizing the Foundation’s mission to foster unity within the community and offer solace and compassion to one another. In addition, the name “Cherished” was chosen to encourage families to hold on to their treasured memories, symbolizing the enduring power of love. Vice President John Villalobos further elevated the atmosphere, leading the assembly in prayer as the memorial progressed.

Families in attendance found solace in the words of Pastor Conrad Valdez from Echoes of Love Ministries in Colton. Pastor Conrad delivered a touching message of comfort to those present, many of whom still grappled with the emptiness that grief leaves behind. His encouraging words uplift the families, their hands raised in a gesture of love and gratitude towards the heavens.

During the ceremony, 152 names were read aloud, each representing a departed loved one. As each name resonated through the park, family members had the opportunity to light a candle in honor of their beloved. The event culminated with a touching slideshow, displaying cherished photographs, birthdays, and dates of those who had embarked on their heavenly journey, accompanied by uplifting music.

The event was impeccably organized, fostering a peaceful and healing atmosphere that the community sorely needed. The Aristrong Foundation has been a steadfast pillar of support, standing alongside individuals grappling with hardships since its establishment in 2020 as a 501(c)(3) organization; their mission, inspired by the memory and vision of Arianna “Ari” Villalobos, who courageously battled stage 4 brain cancer (glioblastoma), centers on spreading hope and healing to hurting hearts. Before she passed away in 2019, Ari requested that her parents create something that would aid those facing adversity. Following her wishes, her brain, tumor, and spine were donated to medical research, ultimately benefiting pediatric patients with glioblastoma at Stanford University.

Colton Councilmember John Echevarria lighting two candles in memory of lost loved ones.

Looking ahead, the Aristrong Foundation is preparing for its annual Aristrong Foundation kickball tournament and car show, an event held every year since 2018. This year marks the event’s fifth anniversary, which is scheduled for Saturday, November 4th, in the City of Colton. The Foundation remains committed to fulfilling Ari’s legacy and serving the community’s needs of Colton, the Inland Empire, and beyond.

For further information about the Aristrong Foundation, visit their website or follow them on Facebook at Aristrong Foundation and on Instagram at @Ari.strong12.

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