ROCKINGHAM — A neighborhood recently rocked by crime is coming together Saturday to celebrate community spirit.
Elise Wall, a concerned parent on Cauthen Drive, has been planning the ‘Fun Day” over the past couple of weeks.
“This is an area with a high crime rate,” she said, “and the community wanted to do something positive for the children.”
“We’re turning an area that has had something bad happen into something good,” she said.
Last month,Wall told the Daily Journal that Cauthen Drive — which runs through Crown Pointe Apartments — has been the site of three shootings this year, though none have been fatal.
Taquan Taheem McDonald was arrested in February and charged in the shootings of Melissa Taylor and Teresa Best. The two women were shot multiple times with a .22-caliber rifle.
The most recent shooting in the neighborhood happened July 5, when police say Kevin Robert Williams shot Jaquale Isaac.
Residents have been holding a prayer vigil in front of Wall’s apartment every Wednesday since April.
Wall said the event — starting at 10 a.m. — will include a prayer vigil and a cookout, adding that there will be games, a bounce house and school supplies for children and voter registration for adults.
She also said there will also be information from local churches and pamphlets on sexually transmitted diseases.
Wall said she has invited several community leaders to the event including Richmond County Sheriff James E. Clemmons Jr., Richmond County Commissioner Daryl Mason and several local pastors.
Representatives from the Rockingham Police Department and Fire Department—with Sparky the Fire Dog—will also be there, she said.
“The entire community is coming together to let us, in this neighborhood, know that they are there for us to support us,” Wall said.
She said the theme for the event is: “I stand for Christ. I stand for my children. I stand for my community. I stand against violence.”
“We want to raise awareness of violence,” she said. “At the same time, we want to come together so our children have a safe place to grow up in.”
Reach reporter William R. Toler at 910-817-2675.