MEMPHIS, tenn (localmemphis.com) - A group of Memphis teenagers tired of violence spent the first half of summer vacation planning a night dedicated to the community and promoting peace.
"We've been making phone calls and raising money, trying to make sure this event happened and go as smooth as possible," said Rodeisha Crawford, a 15-year-old student who is part of the MPLOY program
After weeks of planning and fundraising, Crawford and her new friends are ready for Community Day in Raleigh.
The event, held at the Raleigh Community Center, featured free food, music, games, and prizes for anyone who came out.
The teen organizers are part of MPLOY, a city program that offers summer work for teens. This group said they were fed up with violence and the fatal shooting death of Laylah Washington last month was too much.
"When we heard that we was like we got to do something," said Crawford.
So the teens came up with a Community Day as a way to give back and to show a positive light in the neighborhood. The theme was "Put Down The Guns and Come Have Fun."
"I stay right around the corner in Raleigh, and it's just things that happen shootings, break-ins, kidnappings. It's so much," said MPLOY participant Hannah Brown.
"They're doing everything they can to try and avoid becoming a part of the system that basically trying to drag a lot of people down," said Cedric Williams, one of the MPLOY mentors.
Williams said he was inspired by their decision.
"There are youth in this community that want to see us do better. They want to do better for themselves," said Williams.
"I hope people get a good look at the community basically just to know they have a spot to come to, have people to come to, to have fun and be good, be great and have a future," said Brown.
Organizers said whatever money the teens have left over will be donated to an organization that works to curb violence.
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