Deadly shootings prompt anti-violence events

MUSKEGON, Mich. (WOOD) — Two events are happening Saturday in Muskegon and Muskegon Heights in an effort to cut down on violence and bring the communities together.

U.N.I.T.Y. for Muskegon Peace Walk, which stands for unifying neighbors in transforming youth, is happening Saturday at 1 p.m. at Holy Trinity Church in Muskegon.

Two mothers are behind the event, hoping to get support to start mentorship programs, tutoring and offer job help to teens in the future.

The mothers said the shooting death of 17-year-old Marquis Gresham was the breaking point for the group.

Gresham was shot and killed while walking to his basketball banquet in April in Muskegon Heights.

“People are terrified, people are scared to leave their homes, scared to let their kids come outside and play,” Ashley Kareste, one of the organizers for the Peace Walk said.

Tiffany Gamble, another mother behind the event said her family has been forever changed by gun violence.

Frank Harris, the father of her four children was gunned down and killed in Muskegon Heights in 2012.

Gamble said starting the U.N.I.T.Y. group was her only hope.

“I feel like I owe this to my kids, I owe this to my community of kids who’s lost their fathers, lost their brothers,” Gamble said.

Gamble said they know hosting the Peace Walk won’t solve everything but it’s a start.

It’s not the only event happening Saturday amidst the recent gun violence.

Muskegon Heights Police Chief Lynne Gill said that’s one reason they’re hosting their first-ever community safety day.

“You can never have too much grass root effort, that is where it has to start, in the community,” Gill said.

The Muskegon Heights Community Safety Day is happening Saturday, May 31 from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. at Rowan Park in Muskegon Heights.

The event will feature speakers from the community, bicycle registration, child safety kits and fingerprinting, car seat inspection, arts and crafts and free giveaways.

The U.N.I.T.Y. for Muskegon Peace Walk will begin at Holy Trinity Church at 1 p.m., participants will walk the community together.

You can get involved with the group by finding them on Facebook under the page, U.N.I.T.Y. for Muskegon.

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