Friday, 09 August 2019 17:02

Rockingham pastor, wife combine school supply giveaway with anti-violence rally

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ROCKINGHAM — Falling Creek Park will be the site of a second back-to-school event on Saturday, but this one has a message.

Dr. David Brown, pastor of Christ Memorial Church on E. Washington Street, and his wife Margo are combing a school-supplies giveaway with an anti-violence rally from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

The Browns, who are both retired teachers, said its a chance to bring the community together against gun violence and help out families in need.

The event started in 2014 at the Crown Pointe Apartments on Cauthen Drive, after concerned parent Elise Wall asked her pastor to come pray for the neighborhood, which had been the site of several shootings that year.

Margo Brown said many mothers who participate in the event have lost children or other family members to gun violence.

She said she wants the kids to understand “that there are people in the community who are there for them.”

The Browns said they “have to change toward positive thinking instead of killing each other.”

“We’ve seen a big improvement in some of the children” since starting the event, Margo Brown said.

The guest speaker for this year’s event will be Tim Williams of Wadesboro, a survivor of a home invasion that could have turned fatal.

In addition to the school supplies, there will be free food and stations with a variety of activities including basketball, bowling, face painting, tic-tac-toe and a poster-drawing contest.

There will also be a balloon release in memory of lost loved ones.

Margo Brown said they have reached out to area churches, the Rockingham police and fire departments, Richmond Community College and the Richmond Senior High School Beta Club to participate.

“Like the famous quote (goes), ‘It takes a village to raise a child,’” she said. “So that’s what we’re trying to do.”