By Andreas Butler
For Hometown News
The Daytona Beach community came together and made a stand against violence with "March Against Madness" on May 20.
"We appreciate the support from all those who came together for this," said Bishop Derrick Triplett, pastor of Hope Fellowship Church. "We sent out a rally (cry) for people to come to the table and many have."
The march took place first and went through the Derbyshire neighborhood. The route went south on Derbyshire Road, west on Third Street, north on Imperial Street, east on Sixth Street and back south on Derbyshire.
Following the march, the rally in Derbyshire Park included free food, games, raffle drawings, live music, information booths, and speeches by local leaders, politicians, former gang members and victims of violence.
"This has been in the planning for a while," Zone 5 City Commissioner Patrick Henry said. "The turnout was good, but the purpose was great. We hope to expand this. We can make a difference."
Both events were in collaboration with the "Not My City" movement, which aims to curtail violence and abuse.
"We are marching against gun violence, gang violence and domestic abuse and all violence," Bishop Triplett said. "It is rising in our neighborhoods. We have three different gangs here in Derbyshire. There are also others across the city. Domestic abuse shelters are filling up. Crime may be going down, but we are still feeling it in our neighborhoods."
Bishop Triplett and those involved want the community to take action.
"We want to be part of the solution. It's easy to talk about the problem," he said. "This isn't an event, this is a movement. We are trying to get the neighborhood together to come up with a solution. It's one thing to have a mass event, but it's another thing to strategize after the cameras, reporters and food is gone."
Local leaders know there is plenty of work ahead, but they are faithful.
"There is no one answer," Commissioner Henry said. "Many things need to be done. Let's start with mentoring programs, education and employment to show youngsters that there is a better way."
Residents also came out in support of stopping the violence in the community.
"We need to stop the violence in our community. There is a lot that needs to be done but this is a good start," resident Jordan Gordon said.
"This was a great event. There is a lot of violence in our neighborhoods that needs to stop," resident Lexci Nichols said.
Those involved in the event have more planned to fight violence in the future.
"We are going to do things that won't be marches and rallies," Bishop Triplettt said. "We will do more collective things. We have something that we will be doing in August, reaching out to men ages 18-24 because they run our community. If we get the captains, we can get the soldiers."
The Daytona Beach Police Department also had its Annual Gun Buy Back event at Hope Fellowship Church on Derbyshire Road next to the event and in conjunction with it.
A total of 19 guns were bought back. Those who turned in guns were given gift cards. If a gun was found to be stolen, it will be returned to its rightful owner.
The goal is to get guns off the streets, prevent tragedy and possibly save lives.
"Anyone can have a gun at home," Police Chief Michael Chitwood said. "The problem is when youngsters find them and use them, then there is a tragedy. One life is destroyed because one youngster is dead and the other goes to prison. We buy the guns and melt them down. That's the best thing to do with them."
For more on "Not My City," go to NotMyCity.com.