Procession aims to stop the violence

Published 11:03 pm Monday, October 2, 2017

Community members are joining together to Stop the Violence next week with a mock funeral procession to raise awareness for the impact that violence has on the community.

Organizers discussed some of the details of the event at a LaGrange City Council meeting last week. The procession will take place on Oct. 11 and will focus on awareness for the impact of violence and insurance needs to cover untimely death.

“We are looking to do an event in reference to stopping the violence that is happening in LaGrange,” said Kimberly Dixon, an organizer for the event.

“With all of the innovations happening in LaGrange, we want to target families that have no insurance and are losing loved ones every day to violence.”

The procession will begin at Sweetland Amphitheatre Oct. 11 and will end at Union Street Park where several speakers will discuss problems and possible solutions with the community.

“It came about because we’ve had a lot of young people getting killed from violent deaths, especially all this crime and things like that,” Councilmember Willie Edmondson said. “We were trying to figure out some way to make the community aware of stopping the violence, and I talked to the chief (Lou Dekmar) about that, so we thought about a mock funeral.”

Edmondson sees the results of some of that violence in his role as the owner of Lakes Dunson Robertson Funeral Home. He expressed a desire to put an end to it by creating an event to increase community awareness on the impact that violence has on families and the community. The event will also take a practical look at what follows that violence.

“The reason that I wanted to do this is because I lost my father probably about five years ago, and I was (financially) unable to bury him,” Dixon said. “Dr. Edmondson, I worked with him and his funeral home, and I was really fortunate to have a person like that in my dad’s corner because he allowed me to pay on the burial of my father. When my mother passed away, we had life insurance, and it was very different. I think we need to make sure to make people aware that life insurance is easy to get. It is affordable, and we need to talk about the violence that is happening that causes people to pass away (in) such an untimely (manner).”

Stop the Violence will be structured like a funeral procession and will drive through town in a sort of social demonstration featuring supporting businesses.

“No one wants to lose a child, and with the violence that is going around, innocent people are getting killed,” Edmondson said. “Whatever we can do to make the community aware. Let the gangs see this as we drive through the different communities.”

According to Dixon, all funds raised by the event will go to families who have lost a loved one to violence or toward purchasing insurance for members of the community.