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Hundreds attend vigil for Thomas Dale teacher

CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. (WTVR) – Hundreds came together outside Off the Ark Exotic Pets in Chesterfield on Saturday night to remember Vinny Ferraiolo.

The Thomas Dale biology teacher was found dead inside his pet store Friday afternoon, according to his close friends. No foul play was suspected in Ferraiolo’s death, police said.

“It gets tougher and tougher, walking into the shop today I could hardly walk into the shop because his presence was everywhere,” best friend Troy Thomas said.

Brittany McDowell, a senior at Thomas Dale High School in Chesterfield decided to organize a candlelight vigil for her late teacher.

She said it started with a simple Facebook post, which in turn drew hundreds to come together.

“It just shows you that one person can make a difference like he did,” McDowell said.

Many people left Ferraiolo flowers at the makeshift memorial outside his pet store. Others wrote notes about how much he meant to them.

“For everyone that Vinny helped, for everyone that Vinny taught, please don’t forget how he affected your life,”
Thomas said.