On July 19th, the Dauphin County Advocate Program combated violence through a celebration of peace with young people and families during its 3rd annual Peace Street event in Harrisburg, PA. The event was held at the Family Clinic, strategically located in the city's Old Uptown, a neighborhood known for its poverty and violent crime.
"We're seeing the highest violence in this area that we have seen in a very long time," says Program Director Cheryl McSherry. "You cannot address psychological needs when survival needs are not being met".
"We are doing Peace Street to draw attention to the issue of violence. The more we pay attention and focus on peace by having good relationships, positive community focus, and all of the good things going on, the less violence will occur," YAP Vice-President Cheryl Reeling told celebrants at Peace Street's opening ceremonies.
Pennsylvania State Representative Patty Kim thanked YAP for 38 years of service. Harrisburg City Council president Wanda Williams presented YAP with a proclamation from city council, noting YAP's "efforts towards building strong and peaceful communities." Opening ceremonies ended with a moment of silence for the city's victims of violence.
Despite the high temperatures, over 300 youth and their families enjoyed a fun filled day of arts, games, entertainment, food, and prizes. All youth received a backpack filled with school supplies such as pens, pencils, notebooks, and glue sticks as well as a Peace Street t-shirt marked with this year's slogan "Follow the path to Peace Street; choose your route."
Thank you to the community partners that were on hand to provide health and safety information to Peace Street participants including Baby Love, CBHNP, Dauphin County CMU, Dauphin County MH/IDD, Greater Harrisburg Healthy Start, Metro Bank, OIC, State Representative Patty Kim, and Super Reader.
Thank you as well to our donors and sponsors who made this event possible including CBHNP, Metzger Wickersham, Phillips, Comcast, Sam's Club, D and H Distributing, Malady & Wooten, LLP, MSC Direct, Serratelli, Schiffman & Brown, PC, Giant Foods, Hershey Foods, Middlesworth Chips, Dauphin County Bar Association, Rite Aid, Weis Markets, Barbara Lewis, Mark Sawyer, Eleanor & Freeman Richard, Rebecca & Timothy Fields, Cynthia Scott Harris, Home Mission Board, 2nd & Charles Bookstore, Burger King, Coldstone Creamery, Harrisburg City Islanders, McDonalds, Olive Garden, Outback Steakhouse, Red Crown Bowling, Rita's, Texas Roadhouse, Toys R Us , and Target.
Special thank to you the YAP staff who helped to organize the event: Elizabeth Manning, Cheryl McSherry, Jackie Wiley, Lara Benacquista, Talayna Bowersox, and Josh Mumaw.