Cuyahoga Falls -- The public is invited to attend a balloon launch taking place on the day after Christmas to memorialize the students and staff who died in a Dec. 14 shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn.

The event, which is being organized by Falls resident Melodee Mallicoat and her son Shane May, will happen on Dec. 26 at 1 p.m. at the soccer field at the former Sill Middle School building at 1910 Searl St., near Tallmadge Road. Mallicoat said attendees must bring their own yellow balloon, and added the event is open to "anybody that would like to come for it."

"I've been very, very touched by this," said Mallicoat, who runs a day care center. " I thought the community could all come together and launch these balloons."

She said she saw news reports saying that people were being asked to launch yellow balloons on Dec. 26 in memory of the Newtown victims.

"Yellow means 'friendship,' and 'I care,'" said Mallicoat in explaining the significance of using yellow balloons for the ceremony.

May has posted the details of the event on his Facebook page. According to the posting, attendees are asked to gather at 12:45 p.m., and the balloons will be released at 1.

"My mother is a child care provider for the Department of Jobs and Family Services here in Summit County," wrote May on Facebook. "Working with children her whole life and raising two of her own, the tragedy that occurred hit close to home, as it did for many within our community. She came up with the idea of having a yellow balloon release to honor, remember and pay respect to the many lives we lost that day."

May said that Kim Romanski, also a Falls native, will be there to collect stuffed animals for a local teacher who is sending them to the school district of Newtown, Connecticut.

A total of 26 people were killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School.

For more information on the event, call Mallicoat at 330-928-4016, email her at, or visit May's Facebook page.


phone number: 330-541-9421