Large crowd gathers to remember Stover toddler

Thursday night, thousands of people gathered in Stover to celebrate the life of 3-year-old Blake Litton, who was severely beaten on February 23.

An estimated 2,000 people arrived at the Morgan County R-1 school to show their support. Many wearing blue clothing.

Following a march to the city park, the crowd listened as several people shared poems, prayers, and messages of hope for Blake, his family, and the rest of the community.

They released balloons, and the event ended with the lighting of candles and a moment of silence.

"Doc", a member of the group "Bikers Against Child Abuse" summed up why such a crowd showed up to support the issue.

"It's a child, it's a child, you know? It's all about the children. Every bit of it."

But while the community is saddened by the tragedy, they also hope lessons will be learned.

Kevin Barker, a pastor at Big Rock Church in Morgan County, said: "Good will come of this. It'll be an awakening to be more aware of child abuse and things... This is something that's real and it's not isolated to one family. It can happen anywhere and happen to anybody."

Several organizations helped with the event, including area law enforcement which led the walk and the Salvation Army, which provided drinks and snacks.

High school students at Morgan County R-1 also helped by selling bracelets and t-shirts to raise money for Blake's family.

But according to one of the students who organized the fundraiser, it grew to so much more.

"We had students and teachers and staff members just coming to us and saying we want to help out. It's been amazing," Said Cory Garr. "People just kind of swarmed and they were wonderful. They weren't just paying for them, they were saying keep the change we want to help out in anyway possible. So it's been great."

Because of people's generous giving, the students were able to raise more than one thousand dollars for funeral expenses.

A second vigil for Blake will take place Friday in Sweet Springs, Missouri, which is wear the child's biological father lives.

Blake's mother, Jamie Miller Litton and her boyfriend, Thomas Presley remain behind bars on $100,000 cash-only bonds. There are no court dates set for the two.