Vigil held in Middleton for Oak Creek victims

Many area Sikhs knew members of Oak Creek temple

Published On: Aug 09 2012 01:28:23 PM CDT   Updated On: Aug 08 2012 12:44:17 PM CDT
MIDDLETON, Wis. -

Two days after the fatal shooting at the Sikh temple in Oak Creek, communities across the country continue to hold vigils for the victims.

A vigil held in Middleton on Tuesday night offered the Sikh community a way to grieve and honor the six temple members killed in Oak Creek on Sunday when a gunman walked into the temple and opened fire.

The Sikh Society of Wisconsin-Madison welcomed the media and public to the service full of prayer, and also offered a lesson in Sikhism.

Tarnem Dhillon, the temple secretary, said 200 members are in the area, and most of them knew Oak Creek's temple president, Satwant Singh Kaleka, who was killed.

Dhillon said he once lived with Kaleka and was friends with him for decades.

"He was a nice guy, dedicated to what he was doing, a man of word and always dedicated to God and helpful to the needy people," Dhillon said.

After the prayer, song and sermon, the group moved outside and lit candles as part of the vigil Tuesday night.

A website has been set up to help the victims of the shooting. WeAreSikhs.com is taking donations to help with medical bills and families left behind.

The fund was set up by Kaleka's family. All donations will go to lower-income families. So far, more than $120,000 has been donated to the fund.