By Minister Thomas Ellis
Enough Is Enough Coalition Held its 10th Annual Pre-Thanksgiving Memorial Dinner for Families who have been victimized by Guns and Violence.
There was several family members attending the dinner who this year was their first time, the Bennet Family, the Simmons, the Wilkins these family members along with the many all drawn to St Matthews AME Church because of the lost of a family member who was murdered.
The families were from the Tri Cities Newark, East Orange, and Irvington.
Opening up the event with a Prayer was Rev David Nichol from Deliverance Evangelistic Center in Newark; he lost his Brother to Gun Violence.
Minister Thomas Ellis welcomed everyone and explained the purpose of the dinner.
Then there was the Hugs and Love session this is where the family members go over to someone they don't know and give them a hug and show them some love everyone goes around the hold room and meet and greet each other, Ellis said that this is the Healing part of the dinner and the most important part a chance for every one to meet someone they never knew before, but they all share the same thing in common.
Everald Williams a solo Saxophonist and performer with (STK) Stop the Killing Productions and extension of Enough Is Enough Coalition Performed.
On this decade long tradition the President though that it would be good to honor those who have supported the organization over the years several of the honorees on this night were Perry Funeral Home Newark, Larry Hamm Chairman of (POP), the Owners of the Newark Bears Steve Kalafer, and Marc Berson, also receiving an award was Mark Gallia, WWRL Radio Station, Barry Carter of the Star Ledger, and We Will Organization.
Newark at Large Councilmember Gayle Chaneyfield Jenkins, along with Newark West ward Councilmember Mammie Bridgeforth attended.
Councilmember Chaneyfield Jenkins told the story on how she understands the pain of violence, and losing a loved and how violence have effected her in her life, she also gave the family members some words of encouragement.
Keyasha Edwards 11yrs old another (STK) performer came up sang a lovely Brandy R&B song
Also receiving a Honorary Membership was We -Will organization President Jared Lubecktin
The Keynote Speaker for the dinner was Rev Reginald Jackson Pastor of St Matthews this was the second time that he was the keynote speaker for the organization.
He spoke to the families about how we need to understand this cycle of violence, and that we need to be tired of going to the grave yard to bury our loved ones.
He said it use to be the young burying the old, but that's not the case these days it just the opposite the old burying the young, and how the young people don't even look forward to living to a ripe old age.
Part of his speech was we need to say Enough Is Enough of us Killing each other, and we need to treat people with respect, love, and do something to make a difference to help someone.
He also spoke about how some people don't want us to stop the Killing because there are a lot of people making a lot of money out of the violence cycle,
In his closing he gave some words of inspiration, and stated that he will continue to support Enough Is Enough Coalition.
Newark West ward Councilmember Mammie Bridgeforth spoke about how she to have lost a family member a few months ago and we need to in our community take a stance.
She also stated how she broke down and cried because of the lost, the hurt , the pain and that violence can effect anyone even a City Councilmember.
Minister Ellis throughout the dinner presented special recognition awards, and he told his story of how on New Years Eve 1997 he himself was shot multiple times and left for dead, he spoke about how he started the organization all over in 1998, you see the organization was founded in Atlanta GA in 1993 and in 2004 we are still rolling, not receiving any Funds, no Grants, just God's Blessing how God have been the center of the organization and how we thank God, we must all thank God
The Family remarks is the most emotional part of the event this is when Minister Ellis ask the Family members to come up and give remarks this gets very emotional, but again this is the Healing process, several came up and spoke about their love one and how they miss them and wish that they were here.
There was a speech from the Chairman of the Peoples organization for Progress and one of the honorees Larry Hamm.
Ending the dinner is the candle lighting service and that's when everyone can call out the name of their loved one and then Minister Ellis the President of Enough Is Enough closed out the event with a prayer.
More concerns are addressed in "Faces of Terrorism" - check it out!
More pictorial coverage is available on the Enough Is Enough Coalition Website.
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