15th annual memorial service and candlelighting planned April 14 for Crime Victims’ Rights Week

The Wyandotte County community, families of fallen victims, and community officials will come together on Monday, April 14, to remember those who have lost their lives to homicide in 2013.

The Crime Awareness Coordinating Effort, a program service of Friends of Yates Inc. and co-sponsored by the Wyandotte County District Attorney’s Victim Assistance Program along with the Kansas City, Kan., Police Department’s Victim Services Unit will hold its 15th Annual Memorial and Candle Lighting Vigil in recognition of Crime Victims’ Rights Week.

The event will be held at Forest Grove Baptist Church, 1417 N. 9th St., Kansas City, Kan., where the Rev. Desmond Lamb is the host pastor.  The event will begin at 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. with a light dinner, followed by the candlelight program at 6:30 to 8 p.m.

The Crime Awareness Coordinating Effort was developed after the death of a 10-year-old girl in Kansas City, Kan. This tragic event created great concern throughout the Kansas City, Kan., community.

In response to the outrage, a forum was called by Friends of Yates  Inc. and members of the Baptist Ministers’ Union on October 27, 1998, to bring together local businesses, law enforcement personnel, community leaders and concerned citizens to begin the dialogue about how crime was hurting the Kansas City, Kan., community.

More important, Friends of Yates Inc. wanted to challenge these community leaders to design a strong plan to address the violence in the area.  Through the efforts of Friends of Yates Inc.; a collaborative partnership was formed and became known as the Crime Awareness Coordinating Effort.

This year’s memorial service will remember the 34 victims of homicide, serve as a support system for victims’ families and educate the Wyandotte County community on the progress made to diminish the threat of violence throughout the community.

This year’s guests will include District Attorney Jerome Gorman, KCK Interim Chief Ellen Hanson, Sheriff Don Ash, Mayor Mark Holland and U.S. Attorney Barry Grissom.

The event is free and open to the public.  For more information about this and other programs and services sponsored by Friends of Yates Inc, or for ways to support, volunteer or donate to the agency; contact the administrative office at 913-321-1566 or visit the website at www.friendsofyates.org.

– Information from Demetrius Hurt, Friends of Yates Inc. community outreach coordinator

Program to discuss how to recognize gambling problems

The Keeler Women’s Center, 2220 Central Ave., will hold a program from 1:30 to 3 p.m. March 24 on how to recognize gambling problems.

This presentation will address how and when to get help for a gambling problem. It is presented by Chiquita Miller of K-State Extension. To register, call 913-906-8990.

Saturday events

Teen Talent Show planned today

The Kansas City, Kan., Teens Have Talent Show will be held from 12:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. March 22 at the Main Kansas City, Kansas Public Library Library, 625 Minnesota, Kansas City, Kan. Audience members will get to vote for their favorite performance.

Family film to be shown

The film, “Frozen,” will be shown from 2 to 4 pm. March 22 at the South Kansas City, Kansas Public Library, 3104 Strong Ave., Meeting Room A, Kansas City, Kan. The film is about a fictional epic journey with Everest-like conditions.

Children’s craft planned

Children who are 5 and older may participate in a Spring Flowers craft from 2 to 3 p.m. March 22 at the West Wyandotte Library auditorium, 1737 N. 82nd, Kansas City, Kan. Children will make colorful flowers from tissue paper. Children under 9 must be accompanied by an adult.