Philadelphia, June 15, 2011 — As community organizations charged with promoting youth development and curbing violence continue to sustain severe budget cuts amid a dour economy, state Sen. Anthony H. Williams announced he will suspend a signature annual event, opting instead to redirect funds this year to community-based projects.
Those are elements of the N2N 2011 Summer of Peace, an initiative Williams will officially kick off on Saturday, June 25. The day will feature a gun buyback and a family-focused cookout that also will spotlight civic organizations working daily to impact the lives of young people and stem violence.
For more than 20 years on Labor Day weekend, Williams has hosted the daylong, star-studded Neighborhood-to-Neighborhood Street Festival as a means to unite and celebrate peace and harmony among the diverse residents of the 8th District. But not this year.
“N2N was always about uniting diverse neighborhoods with a day of harmony and peace,” Williams said. “But the stagnant economy and ongoing proposed cuts to programs in both state and Philadelphia budgets are pushing many local organizations and communities to the brink.
“If these programs suffer, we all lose,” he said. “There has to be another way. Channeling the resources normally used for the N2N Festival into programs and organizations striving to maintain peace and safety in the community is at least a start.
“I’m hoping that those longtime festival sponsors will join us in this effort, because this is a community issue that needs a community response,” Williams added.
The gun buyback, co-hosted by Peace Not Guns and Youth Action, will take place from 9 to 11 a.m. at Donald Finnegan Recreation Center, located at 30th and Wharton streets in Philadelphia. With a proliferation of illegal handguns on the streets of Philadelphia, gun buybacks have proven effective at working toward removing the scourge.
Participants will receive $100 gift cards in exchange for turning in their guns, no questions asked.
That event will be followed by the N2N 2011 Summer of Peace Cookout, a free event co-sponsored by Peace Not Guns, Youth Action and Tasker Elite. The cookout will take place from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Stinger Square, between 32nd and Dickinson streets and 33rd and Reed streets.
This fun-filled peaceful event will include free food, drill and step team demonstrations, giveaways, music and dancing, a senior tent, games and activities for children and on-site constituent services with Senator Williams’ Senate district staff.
As part of the Summer of Peace initiative, Williams awarded some 50 mini-community investment grants ranging from $300 to $29,000 to support programs at grassroots organizations and other agencies. Recipients will be recognized at the cookout at a 1:30 p.m. ceremony. A list follows.
“Crime typically rises during the summer months, when the weather is warmer and more people are idle,” he said. “I felt it was important to share the spirit of N2N right now by providing more direct support to groups and individuals who are on the ground, working every single day to give kids other options and reduce violence.
“We may be missing the big name acts on Baltimore Avenue this year, but we won’t miss the opportunity to make a big impact on the 8th District this summer,” Williams said. “I hope that everyone from across the 8th District help to live a Summer of Peace, starting by participating in these events on June 25.”
For details, call the senator’s district office at (215) 492-2980 or visit his website, www.senatoranthonyhwilliams.com
N2N 2011 Summer of Peace Grant Recipients
|ORGANIZATION||COMMUNITY TARGETED||GRANT SUPPORT||GRANT AMOUNT|
|Colwyn Borough||Delaware County||Support of summer programs and supplies||$1,000|
|Darby CDC||Delaware County||Support of domestic violence workshops and cultural sensitivity workshops||$1,250|
|Darby Library||Delaware County||Reading programs, employment assistance and related supplies||$1,000|
|Delaware Co Stallions||Delaware County||Purchase of team equipment and supplies||$300|
|Lansdowne Baptist Church||Delaware County||Support of anti-bullying programming and supplies||$750|
|Neighbor-to-Neighbor CDC||Delaware County||Support of reading programs||$1,000|
|Nile Swim Club||Delaware County||Sponsorship of Peace Picnic||$1,000|
|Prospect Park Youth Club||Delaware County||Purchase of club equipment, uniforms, and trophies||$1,000|
|YEAA (Yeadon Education Athletic Assoc||Delaware County||Supporting basketball and soccer program via equipment and supplies||$500|
|Afterschool Activities Partnerships (ASAP)||District-wide||Purchase of related supplies and support for chess club/yoga/Scrabble activities||$1,000|
|American Legion Little League Team||District-wide||Purchase of athletic league-uniforms, equipment, and trophies||$500|
|Girls, Inc||District-wide||Purchase of anti-violence/self-esteem program supplies||$750|
|Pathways of PA||District-wide||Sponsorship of Project Peace||$1,000|
|Philadelphia Youth Network||District-wide||Sponsoring summer jobs for two students for June-Aug||$3,200|
|Police/Fire Depts.||District-wide||Support of bikes and vest programs||$29,000|
|YOACAP||District-wide||Sponsoring gun buyback — purchase 10 gift cards||$1,000|
|Youth In Action||District-wide||Sponsoring gun buyback — purchase 100 gift cards||$10,000|
|Diversified Community Services||South Philadelphia||Purchase of robotics program equipment||$1,000|
|Hurricanes (South Philly)||South Philadelphia||Purchase of team uniforms, equipment, and trophies||$1,000|
|Point Breeze Performing Arts Center||South Philadelphia||Purchase program supplies, uniforms, and equipment||$1,500|
|South Philly Rebels Football & Cheer Organization||South Philadelphia||Purchase of team helmets, shoulder pads, and insurance||$1,500|
|Tasker Elite||South Philadelphia||Support of anti-violence programs and summer community watch-supplies, equipment, and refreshments||$2,000|
|48th & Woodland Ave Advisory Council||Southwest Philadelphia||Purchase of equipment and supplies for Boys & Girls Club||$1,000|
|Community of Compassion||Southwest Philadelphia||Support of summer reading programs||$750|
|Concerned Parents Network||Southwest Philadelphia||Purchase of basketball uniforms and equipment for tournament at Sayre High School||$1,000|
|Creating a Village||Southwest Philadelphia||Program support; inmates speak with high schoolers as a crime deterrent||$2,500|
|Eastwick Town Watch Bike Patrol||Southwest Philadelphia||Equipment purchase – 2-way radios||$5,000|
|18th Police District Town Watch||Southwest Philadelphia||Sponsorship of June 24-skating event at Elmwood, with food and refreshments||$1,500|
|Kingessing Advisory Board||Southwest Philadelphia||Support of summer rec center activities||$1,000|
|Liberian Behavioral Health Systems||Southwest Philadelphia||Sponsorship of youth peace conference||$500|
|Myers SW Track Program||Southwest Philadelphia||Track program – uniforms, equipment, and trophies||$1,000|
|Philly Blacksox||Southwest Philadelphia||Purchase of team equipment and supplies||$1,500|
|Philly Youth Poetry Movement||District-wide||Supporting delegates to 2011 Brave New Voices International Youth Poetry Slam||$1,000|
|Tilden Mentoring Program||Southwest Philadelphia||Program support and supplies||$300|
|Women of Transformation||Southwest Philadelphia||Assisting programming for female ex-offenders in transitioning back into the community||$1,500|
|Yeadon Tennis Program (CIP-Community Integration Program)||Southwest Philadelphia||Supporting tennis program via equipment and supplies||$2,000|
|Concerned Block Captains||West Philadelphia||Sponsoring neighborhood youth trip to Dorney Park, with boxed lunches||$1,000|
|Concerned Men of Cobbs Creek||West Philadelphia||Purchase of basketball league supplies -uniforms, trophies, and related equipment||$1,000|
|Hip Hop, Inc||West Philadelphia||Features production and arts programming||$500|
|Weekend of Peace||West Philadelphia||Sponsoring T-shirts, supplies, and refreshments||$2,500|