Participants will march from a church on Fruit Avenue to a religious Tent Service at Spearman Avenue
Participants will march from a church on Fruit Avenue to a religious Tent Service at Spearman Avenue and Idaho Street.
By HAROLD GWIN
VINDICATOR SHARON BUREAU
FARRELL, Pa. -- A local anti-drug coalition is trying to rouse Farrell and Sharon residents to take to the streets to show support for anti-crime efforts.
"We have to let people know we are taking a stand against crime and against drugs and we're trying to take back our community," said Olive M. Brown, executive director of the community group Endorse Resistance of All Substance Abuse Everywhere.
Aug. 6 is the target date, coinciding with the 19th annual National Night Out crime and drug prevention effort, she said.
Brown said they put together a last-minute program last year to march along the Farrell-Sharon border and drew about 100 participants.
They're better organized this year, she said, noting ERASE has made a pitch to local pastors and youth and community leaders as well as law enforcement officials to boost participation.
"I hope we get the churches involved," Brown said, explaining that can be a strong source of support.
"We are asking for people who believe in anti-substance abuse and anti-crime and community-building initiatives for safer communities to march with us," Brown said.
Details of event
The march will begin at 6:30 p.m. at the ERASE office in Jesus' Church Faith Christian Center Ministries at 901 Fruit Ave. and travel north on Fruit to George Street, then west one block to Wallis Avenue. The parade will then go south on Wallis to Idaho Street, then west to Idaho and Spearman Avenue where the Greater Mount Zion Church of God in Christ will be holding a Tent Service.
The march will end at 7 p.m. with a prayer program at the Tent Service, Brown said.
The Rev. Wilbert Hadden, pastor of Greater Mount Zion, holds the Tent Service at that location each year to reach out to those who hang out in the Idaho Street area, Brown said.
The march includes some of the Weed and Seed area targeted for crime reduction and community rebuilding in a two-year state-funded program.
Participants are asked to be at the ERASE office by 6:15 p.m.
Brown said other Weed and Seed groups across the state are also expected to hold their own marches that night.
The local march just starts the National Night Out effort.
Brown said Sharon and Farrell residents are encouraged to turn on their outside lights and spend the evening outside with neighbors and police from 7 to 10 p.m.
The goal is to heighten crime and drug prevention awareness, generate support and participation for local anti-crime efforts, strengthen neighborhood spirit and the police-community partnership and send a message to criminals letting them know the neighborhoods are organized and fighting back, Brown said.