Candles, Memory, and Raw Local Talent

Categories:  Community    Events
Tuesday, December 23rd, 2014 at 9:30 AM
Candles, Memory, and Raw Local Talent by Mary Birdsong

Candles will be burning brightly and young people will be displaying their talent at the Booker T. Washington Center when Mothers Against Teen Violence hosts the fifth annual memorial vigil to remember Steve Arrington II and all victims of violent crime.  

Sonya Arrington, Steve’s mother and founder of MATV, says the vigil is her favorite part of the event, but she added a talent show to honor her son. “Steve loved music, so giving other young people the chance to perform seemed like the best way to memorialize him,” she says. 

The event starts with the candlelight vigil that includes speakers, singers, music, and a moment of silence for victims. Everyone is invited to attend, and there is no admission fee. If you want to stay for the talent show, which takes place after the vigil, there is a $3 admission charge.

The talent show this year is themed “Change Starts When Unity Begins’’ and features youths age 5 through 19. 

“We had about 350 people attend last year and are expecting more this year,” Arrington says. “There will be 15 talent acts and it should be very competitive; last year a six-year-old won second place.” Prizes are awarded for first ($500), second ($250), and third place ($100). 

Arrington also states that this is a great way for people to come together and start the new year on a positive note, as well as give young people a way to express themselves in a healthy manner.

If you want to help, good news: Volunteers are still needed. All you have to do is give Arrington a call at 572.9567. If you cannot make the event and would like to make a donation, a check may be sent to MATV, PO Box 11414, Erie, Pa. 16514.

“All we hear about are the bad things,” Arrington says. “But there are good kids doing good things, too. This is a chance for us to celebrate that.” 

Noon to 4 p.m., Jan. 3 // Booker T. Washington Center, 1720 Holland St. // 572-9567

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