Tickets are sold out for a Naperville appearance on the "March For Our Lives: Road to Change" bus tour planned by surviving students from the school shooting in Parkland, Florida.
Preparations are under way at DuPage Unitarian Universalist Church for the event, set for 6 to 8 p.m. Saturday at 1828 Old Naperville Road. The expected gathering of 300 people comes about four months after a former student shot and killed 17 people on Feb. 14 at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.
The Rev. Tom Capo said the Parkland students are working with local youths from Downers Grove to plan a panel discussion about the effects of gun violence and a question-and-answer session with the audience.
"This is their first smaller-venue, town-hall kind of event," Capo said about the second stop on the Parkland students' bus tour, which is scheduled to begin Friday with a peace march in Chicago. "We're kind of the testing ground for all of this."
The "March For Our Lives: Road to Change" tour is set to continue throughout the summer with more than 50 stops planned in 20 states as students aim to show "we refuse to accept gun violence as an unsolvable issue," organizers wrote on the event's website.
Capo said the Naperville event will take place in the sanctuary with audio and video projection at two other large spaces to accommodate more people. It also will be livestreamed on the Friends Who March Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/FriendsWhoMarch/ and the DuPage Unitarian Universalist Church's website at www.dupageuuchurch.org/.
Voter registration will be available both inside and outside the church during Saturday's town hall, and Capo said a group plans to encircle the building with a "wall of love" to "support the youth" in the event of potential protesters.
Attendees are asked to carpool if possible and to bring donations of paper products, diapers and cleaning supplies for Loaves & Fishes Community Services in Naperville.