Columbus organization hosts “Stop the Violence” event

COLUMBUS, Ga. (WTVM) – The weekend was filled with many activities and events – including an auto club working to raise awareness about stopping violence in Columbus and throughout the Chattahoochee Valley.

A rally held behind the Frank D. Chester Rec. The Benning Hills center has brought positive vibes to the community. It was organized by Highway Hoggin. The event included plenty of barbecues on the grill and it was all free for those who passed by.

The organization says they are more than a car club, but an awareness willing to donate the shirts off their backs to help the community.

Highway Hoggin President Niecy is concerned about the violence in Columbus. Originally from the south of the city, she explains why it was important for her to organize this event and what has changed since she grew up.

“We decided to have it here at the Frank D. Chester Recreation Center because we have the police on our doorstep and we really try to have something where people can go out and just enjoy it without being terrified if something thing is going to happen or someone is going to get killed,” Niecy said. “Most of the violence and crime that we have had has taken place in the south. Honestly, social media has a big part in some violence because it starts with social media and goes back and forth and then it ends in public places – club, parties, at the end of the day. Growing up, I had a grandmother who didn’t play this – streetlights come on, you have to be in the house.

Regional chapters also descended on Fountain City from Atlanta, Macon as well as a Tennessee chapter to show their support.

“Well, it’s important because we have young people here doing what they want,” said Darrell Kendricks of Atlanta. “They want to steal and steal. We’re trying to show them a better way than doing all this theft, stealing, shooting, joining gangs, doing all the violence.

“Attracting street kids is what we want to do,” said Monica Hicks, secretary of Highway Hoggin. “And we get them off the streets and take them with us and show them what we’re doing feeding the homeless, giving back to the community – so they’ll be in a better place instead of just walking around and picking up guns , shoot because they see another person doing it. If you take them off the street and start with them, you should be fine.

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Edward L. Robinett