York City anti-violence vigil planned for First Friday
Rallying and chanting are great for raising awareness, but sometimes quieter moments also can hold a great deal of power, Kelli Jacobs said.
Jacobs and others from the Stop the Violence group plan to hold a candlelight prayer vigil March 4 in the hopes of creating some community energy and positive vibes for the city.
"All of us getting together, holding hands," she said. "I think we need to see more of that."
The vigil will take place in the middle of town in Continental Square, at the intersection of George and Market streets. It will run from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m., right around when many of the monthly First Friday events downtown are kicking off.
"First Friday would be the best time to do it — there’s gonna be a lot of people out," said John Beck, one of the organizers of the several Stop the Violence rallies that have been held in York City in recent months.
The rallies were spawned by several high-profile killings in the city and a spate of nonfatal shootings in December, largely involving young people.
Jacobs plans on reaching out to several city churches to see if the clergy or other members want to take part.
But whether five people or 50 turn out, she'll be pleased.
"It doesn't matter who prays just so long as we get together," she said. "I’m very spiritual."
She encourages everyone who attends to bring a candle.
Along with the youth violence the rallies focused on, the heroin epidemic that's increasingly plagued the city and county — and many other parts state and country as a whole — over the past couple of years also concerns Jacobs.
That's a problem that hit home recently for her. Her cousin Ashley Krebs — formerly Ashley Jacobs — died of a heroin overdose in December at age 25.
"We need to get some positive things going," she said.
— Reach Sean Cotter at firstname.lastname@example.org.