TOLEDO, OH (WTOL) - Emotional and passionate words tonight from the parents of shooting victims and community leaders at the kickoff event for Toledo's Youth Against Crime Week.
Among the people gathered at the Believe Center in south Toledo Monday were parents of crime victims, as well as friends of those who've been killed in violence. They said it's time for the community to be engaged and come together.
Demetrius Wallace said it's important for him to be here to support community action.
He's still reeling from the loss of his 20 year-old daughter, De'Asia, to gun violence just last month.
"It's just time for a change right now," said Wallace. "And I guess it's my calling to do the right thing right now to try to keep her legacy alive and keep her going. It would make me happy if I could save one person. "
The words from De'Asia's father at the meeting hit one young man especially hard.
"I knew her and I felt where he was coming from, I felt his pain because I knew her she was a friend of mine and to hear she went like that. It hit me," said Charmen Burton, a member of the YMCA Youth Opportunity Program.
Pathway, Inc and other partners are trying to engage the community in positive activity this week to help support Toledo's youth.
That's why coaches, YMCA leaders and parents were at the kickoff, to get involved.
"I think the person who murdered my son didn't care about who they were," said Ronnell McKinney.
She lost her 21-year-old son, Timothy Traynum, in a shooting this summer. She believes love and support is what could make a difference for the city's young people.
"Toledo can be the city that it used to be. We used to be such a family-oriented city. I would never leave this place," McKinney said. "We're hurting but my son's legacy will continue to live."
Below is a completed list of events for "Youth Against Crime Week," which opened to anyone interested in attending.
- Monday: Youth Against Crime Press Conference Believe Center - 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.
- Tuesday: Movie night at Wayman Palmer YMCA - 5 p.m.
- Wednesday: What is Bootcamp? at Pathway, Inc. 505 Hamilton St. Toledo, OH - 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.
- Thursday: Parent University at the Believe Center ,1 Aurora L Gonzalez Dr, Toledo, OH - 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.
- Friday: Jones Leadership Academy Pep Rally , 430 Nebraska Ave. Toledo, OH - 1:25 p.m.
- Youth Against Crime Night at Wayman Palmer YMCA , 2053 N 14th St, Toledo, OH - 4 to 7 p.m.
- Saturday: Youth Against Crime Rally/Walk at Pathway, Inc. ,505 Hamilton St. Toledo, OH - 9 a.m. (Registration Begins)
- Torch Training at Pathway, Inc. - 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.
- Youth Against Crime Lock-In Party at Wayman Palmer YMCA , 2053 N 14th St, Toledo, OH - 7 p.m. (Must have Pathway wristband from daytime activities to participate).
- Sunday: Citywide Church Service(s) Focused on Youth Against Crime (All IMA-interdenominational ministerial alliance affiliated churches)
- Torch Training Day 2 at Pathway, Inc. ,505 Hamilton St. Toledo, OH - 10 a.m.