Mayor’s Message: Gun Violence Awareness Day

People across the country will be wearing orange on Friday, June 7, which marks the fifth National Gun Violence Awareness Day.

This year Voorhees Township is again joining thousands of municipalities across the country recognizing the first Friday in June as National Gun Violence Awareness Day, a day to honor and remember all the victims and survivors of gun violence and to recognize more must be done to reduce gun violence.

People across the country will be wearing orange on Friday, June 7, which marks the fifth National Gun Violence Awareness Day.

Every day, 100 Americans are killed by gun violence with more than 36,000 firearm fatalities annually and more than 80,000 nonfatal injuries requiring emergency medical care or hospitalization. After car accidents, gun violence is the leading cause of death of people under the age of 20. On average, two kids under the age of 14 are killed each week in accidental shootings.

Gun Violence Awareness Day is not an anti-gun or pro-gun movement. In our country, we have the right to bear arms, but we also have the responsibility to bear arms safely. Support for the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding citizens goes hand-in-hand with keeping guns away from dangerous people. This day is about recognizing that there is a gun violence problem in our country and more can be done to save lives from gun violence.

The idea of National Gun Violence Awareness Day was inspired following the death of Hadiya Pendleton, a teenager who was shot and killed on Jan. 29, 2013 in Chicago just one week after she performed with her high school marching band at President Barack Obama’s second inauguration. Her friends and classmates chose to commemorate her life by wearing orange because hunters wear orange in the woods to protect themselves and others from gunfire and orange is the color that symbolizes the value of human life.

Voorhees Township emergency responders will be wearing orange ribbons on Friday, June 7 to show support in the effort to reduce gun violence and encourage responsible gun ownership.

**The 11thAnnual Alicia Rose Victorious 5k Run/Walk will be held on Sunday, May 19. Check in begins at 7:30 a.m. and the run/walk one-mile race will start at 9 a.m. The 5K race will start at 9:30 a.m.at Virtua Hospital, 200 Bowman Dr. in Voorhees.  The cost is $30 for participants 19 and older and $15 for ages 5 to 18.  The ARVF installs Teen Lounges in hospitals throughout the world.

**The first show in the Summer Concert Series is Thursday, June 20, and will feature Asbury Fever Band, recreating the popular Jersey shore sounds of the 70’s and 80’s. The band includes a three-piece horn section and covers such artists as Bruce Springsteen, Southside Johnny & The Asbury Jukes, Bon Jovi and Little Steven. Asbury Fever Band captures the intensity of these legendary Jersey artists.ThefreeshowisatConnollyPark and begins at 7:30 p.m. The “Beer Garden” and food trucks open at 6:30 p.m.

**On Tuesday, May 21, the Voorhees Arts Center is conducting an Art Party for our community youth, ages 8 and up. Parents can drop off children to experience many different art activities including painting, sketching, photography and beading. The Art Party is at the Voorhees Art Center located in the Voorhees Town Center Mall behind the Food Court and continues from 5:45 p.m. to 8:45 p.m. The cost is $10. For more information and to pre-register, contact Marianne at (609) 315-6218. These sessions are led by experienced art teachers. Thanks to Columbia Bank Foundation and Camden County Cultural and Heritage Commission for aiding in funding this event.