ILION – The spirit of community and fun reigned in Russell Park Saturday, during Peace in the Park, a fundraising event for the Domestic Violence Program of Herkimer County.
The first-time event included live music, art activities, crafts, face painting, raffles, a bake sale and student art exhibit, all in the name of raising awareness and bringing people together to encourage peace and non-violence, said Event Coordinator and Domestic Violence Program Advocate Allysa.
Roughly 125 people took part in the all-day event.
“It’s been great,” said Allysa. “The bands all volunteered their time, we had students from three different schools donate their art for the contest, the YWCA and DA’s office took part, and I think everyone has had a good time.”
Allysa added that the group hopes to make Peace in the Park an annual event.
“Oh we’re having a great time,” said Jackie Vacchio-Gibb as she and her son Adrian worked on the community mural. “And I think he’s really enjoying himself,” she said of Adrian, 2, who spent more time painting himself than the canvas.
The mural will be displayed in one of the Domestic Violence Program’s emergency shelters, Allysa said.
Peace in the Park coincided with the beginning of National Crime Victims Awareness Week, which runs April 19-25. Also in observance of this awareness week, the YWCA will hold it’s annual Take Back the Night event on Thursday, April 23, at Myers Park in Herkimer, beginning at 6 p.m.