UTICA - The annual "Stop the Violence" weekend is coming up, this Saturday, August 10.
The whole community is invited to the two-day event which will begin on Saturday morning. There will be food, carnival games and some of the best basketball in the area.
This year's basketball tournament will be in honor of Shaun Vaughn, the 19-year-old who was shot to death in Utica in January of 2010.
Patrick Johnson, the program director for Save our Streets, says the ultimate goal is eliminating violence in the city.
"This is not one person's issue or one group, this is a community issue. The City of Utica, I know that we are much better than we've been displaying, and we all understand that this is not going to be easy. But I think that we are excited about the possibility that we can make things better," said Johnson.
Utica Common Councilor Freddie Hamilton says figuring out how to stop the violence and come up with long-term solutions is one of her top priorities.
"I've been meeting with some community members who are planning some activities for the summer that will engage the youth. When I meet with them, they're constantly thinking of ways to keep the young people engaged, to reach out to their parents, to do things that are a little different. But we think we'll make a big difference," said Hamilton. "We have people here who are really working hard to change this, and so we need the help of the entire city for us to make this change. It must happen."
Organizers say the "Stop the Violence" events this weekend are a way to get kids involved and engaged this summer.
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