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Local organizations offer healing

Agencies show support for violence-affected

By Melanie Ruberti

mruberti@civitasmedia.com

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LaGRANGE — Violence has reached every corner of our community, but one group is hoping to extend a hand through the darkness and offer hope to those affected by the brutality.

The Troup County Anchor Foundation is spearheading an event Saturday called “Retrospective: A Time of Healing.”

Ameia Cotton is the founder of the Troup County Anchor Foundation. She said the presentation pays tribute to those who have lost their lives to gang violence, domestic violence and crime in the community. She said the event is also to show unity and support in the community.

“It’s a time of healing and of knowledge,” Cotton explained. “It’s about knowing what’s going on in our community. A lot of people don’t know … (LaGrange Public Safety) Chief (Lou) Dekmar and Sheriff (James) Woodruff are offering support and help … we also want people to know they can move forward. You don’t have to dwell in that place and time.”

The Troup County Anchor Foundation is a nonprofit established in 2013, according to the group’s Facebook page, and “built to establish hopes and dreams in our community no matter one’s age, race or gender. (Its) one goal (is) to provide knowledge through educational tools and work skills.”

The event is a collaboration between the Anchor Foundation; West Georgia Star, a nonprofit organization within the LaGrange Housing Authority; Southern Empire; LaGrange Police Department and the Troup County Sheriff’s Office.

The guest speakers of the presentation include Kit Cummings, founder of the Power of Peace Project, and criminal defense attorney Jackie Patterson.

Cotton said the group will play a documentary during the event that features a mom whose son was murdered and a person who was the victim of domestic violence.

“The things said at this event will help people and touch their lives,” Cotton said. “It may make someone want to change their life. So if we can reach just one person, then we’ve done our job.”

Cotton believes the presentation can also be a new beginning for many who have suffered in our community.

“We have a support group for people who have lost loved ones,” she explained. “We want them to know that we’re here. You have so many people come out to the funeral, then leave. But we’ll be here after. Even if it’s just to say, ‘Hey.’ We’ll be here. We’ll be that support.”

“Retrospective: A Time of Healing” is set for 3 p.m. Saturday inside the Price Theater on Forrest Avenue, part of the LaGrange College campus. The event is free and open to the public.

IF YOU GO

“Retrospective: A Time of Healing” is set for 3 p.m. Saturday inside the Price Theater on Forrest Avenue, part of the LaGrange College campus. The event is free and open to the public. It will feature a presentation with guest speakers that pays tribute to those who have lost their lives to gang violence, domestic violence and crime in the community, as well as a documentary about victims of violence.

Melanie Ruberti is a reporter at LaGrange Daily News. She may be reached at 706-884-7311, ext. 2156.