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Community Honors Slain Hanford Woman

Hundreds turn out for a candlelight vigil celebrating the life of Melanie Pate.
There was a strong show of emotion and support in Hanford Wednesday night as hundreds gathered at the Bob Hill Youth Complex for a candlelight vigil honoring the life of Melanie Pate.

The 42-year old woman was murdered on Monday.  Police arrested her husband, Todd Pate, for the crime.

Just as a baseball game begins with the National Anthem, so too did the candlelight vigil dedicated to Melanie Pate.  She was a beloved woman who lived and breathed youth sports, especially baseball.

The crowd’s orange and black wardrobe was to recognize the Cen Cal Grizzlies traveling teams.

There are so many people here in support, this is wonderful,” said J.T. Contente, a family supporter.

Hundreds from across the valley united.  They held candles and shed tears over this tragedy.

Melanie’s mother tried to stay strong for her daughter.  Perhaps the saddest sight was to see the pain Melanie’s 12-year old son Karter is experiencing.

“It’s a nightmare,” said Shannon Pate, Melanie’s former sister-in-law.

Shannon pate is Melanie’s former sister-in-law.  The two women were extremely close friends.

“We were always talking on the phone.  Facebooking.  Our boys are very active in baseball,” said Pate.

Folks lined up to purchase candles, decals with Melanie’s initials and bottles of water.  All money raised benefits Karter.

“We’re such a small community, but we’re so tight knit and when someone is in need we definitely pay it forward and they’re showing it tonight,” said Jessica Scalai, Melanie’s friend.

The vigil concluded with the release of many balloons a gesture acknowledging Melanie is gone, but her legacy is never to be forgotten.

Melanie was so well loved.  She was a huge part of this community and we’re really going to miss her,” said Scalai.

If you were unable to attend this event and would like to make a donation just visit any E.E.C.U. branch and mention the Melanie Pate Memorial Fund.

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