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Verbatim: Eagle project, tree planting to remember homicide victims

Statement issued Wednesday:

Fort Wayne, IN – September 22 2010 – On Saturday, October 16, at 10 am, at Rea Park, "We Remember – Our Neighbors Who Were Slain," a memorial event, will begin with blessings offered by representatives of various religious traditions from the Fort Wayne community. Following, Boy Scouts of Troop 344 and interested volunteers will be led by Sean Driscoll in the planting of at least 19 trees . These trees will act as living memorials for the 19 homicides that have taken place in 2010 in Allen County. A larger tree will also be planted as a symbol of all previous homicides.

Sean Driscoll has organized this event as a part of an Eagle Scout project in cooperation with the Peace and Justice Commission of Associated Churches. Throughout the year Heal the Land Prayer Services are held by the Commission at the site of each homicide to offer mercy and hope to the community. Driscoll, a senior at Bishop Luers High School, has obtained donations of trees from Fort Wayne Parks and Recreation, Trees Indiana, and Lowes (Illinois Rd.). D.O. McComb and Sons has also donated funds for a memorial marker.

Rea Park is one of Fort Wayne Parks and Recreation's newest parks and is located in the 3700 block of East Pontiac Street. Everyone in the community is invited to attend.

"This is truly a community event – an act of love from the community for our fellow friends and neighbors. We hear often that people are surprised how non-judgmental our services are. We are not here to judge or condemn. We gather simply to pray."" explains J. Patric Driscoll, chair of the Peace and Justice Commission.

The Associated Churches of Fort Wayne and Allen County, created in 1944, is a unique, faith based organization, bringing together 130 congregations to respond to those in need. The primary programs are the Food Bank System, Rising Stars Ministry, and "A Baby's Closet." Over 1,800 volunteers are used by Associated Churches to pray, serve, and work together to improve our community and to respond to those in need.

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