Suburban businesswomen to host prayer vigil for slain Chicago police officer

  • Ella French

    Ella French

Updated 8/31/2021 7:44 AM

Five businesswomen from four communities are hosting a Tuesday prayer vigil for slain Chicago police officer Ella French and others to inspire prayer and hope and to honor the fallen.

Sylvia Masters of Carol Stream's Mapleberry Pancake House, Marie Caruso LaTorre of Bartlett's Pasta Mia, Deala Torres of D's Treats in Bloomingdale and Cindy Santilli and her sister, Marie Kosinski, of Roselle's This N That Fashion will conduct a "synchronized prayer vigil" at the four business locations from 7 to 8 p.m.


The event will honor French, the 29-year-old Chicago police officer and Downers North alumna who was shot and killed this month during a traffic stop in the West Englewood neighborhood of Chicago. It will also will honor other fallen police officers and pay respects to members of the U.S. military.

Masters will host the event alongside the Take Up Your Cross Motorcycle Ministry in Carol Stream. She said she insists on separating the event from politics, seeking to attract others with positivity.

"We need more good, positive energy in the world," she said.

Masters said the event came together in roughly three weeks, with all of the women planning to coordinate it with the same outline. Masters said she first contacted Torres, with whom she did business in the past. She then made contact with Santilli and Kosinski through Facebook and then contacted LaTorre to create the event.

The vigil will start with hymns for French from local singers in the respective communities, then five minutes of silence for French and other fallen soldiers and officers. Local pastors will lead the groups in prayer.

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"There is power in prayer," Santilli said. "It's a good thing to get the community together and have some positivity in the world."

Police chiefs and mayors of the towns have been invited to the events as well. Masters said she expects 100 people to attend each event.

"When I set my mind on something, I start executing," Masters said. "I have a lot of people that support me and helped me get it going. I love to see local women in business making something positive happen."

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