Stop the Violence event aims to reduce gun violence after recent shootings

WEST YORK, Pa. (WHTM) – A York County mayor and church are attempting to stop the violence after recent shootings, one of them deadly, in a unique way. They brought hundreds of people together Saturday evening.

Children lined up to launching a rubber frog into water, but was much more than just a game. People of all ages rallied together at Stop the Violence, a community block party.

“I am here to face paint the children for the community,” Luz Patterson said as she painted a little girl’s face.

Bright colors surrounded Patterson’s palette as she brightened the day of kids.

Hundreds of people came out for the event.

“People are taking a stand, and we’re trying to make it public that there are people that do want to make a change,” said Patterson, owner of Fierce Face by Luz.

“We are having our first-ever Stop the Violence event right here in West York,” West York Mayor Shawn Mauck (D) said.

The event featured everything from colorful balloons and juicy burgers to festive music and a bounce house. Mauck hopes it can help to make the community a safer place.

“Because of the uptick in gun violence throughout York County, I wanted to do something to get our residents more connected to our government and to our police department,” Mauck said.

Organizers also hoped Stop the Violence can help people become more comfortable with each other.

“I think it’s important to bring unity, and with an event like this, it brings the neighbors out with their children. They have the opportunity to get to know each other and speak,” said Yahaira Alvarado, senior pastor at House of Reconciliation.

“The neighborhood has changed, but people still have a good heart, and they just need a little bit of excitement and a little encouragement to come out and do something good,” Mauck said.

Mauck would like to have another Stop the Violence event and partner with York City. House of Reconciliation has helped to put on several of these events throughout York County.

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