The first-ever Playing for Peace event will be from 2 to 5 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 17, at the Rockford Jefferson High School Gymnasium.
Event founder Eric Hominick, 23, designed the event to raise money for the Rockford Health Council and The Violence Prevention Collaborative of the Winnebago County Health Department while celebrating the memory of Brandon Marcus Wright.
Wright, a Rockford native and 2011 graduate of Western Illinois University, was shot and killed in his car in the early morning of Nov. 12 at the corner of Linden and Perryville roads. He was 23.
Wright was a three-sport athlete at Jefferson and was part of the Jefferson basketball team that finished fourth in state during his junior year.
Playing for Peace will feature a basketball game (players to be announced), activities for kids and young adults, raffle prizes, information booths about violence prevention, a help center, a gallery section displaying art from local artists, and a silent auction. The basketball game will start at approximately 3:30 p.m., with a half-time performance from the Violence Enders Kids. Raffle winners will be announced once the game has ended.
The activities featured at the event will include Bozo Bucket for kids, bingo, video games, bridge for seniors, free-throw contest, 3-point shot contest, and a dance competition.
Playing for Peace will also have celebrity appearances by Chicago’s No. 1 radio station for hip hop and R&B, WGCI 107.5 FM on-air personalities DJ 33 1/3 and DJ Dimepiece. Rockford’s own Rick Nielsen from the band Cheap Trick will be donating memorabilia, and Rockford Fire and Police departments, social workers, attorneys, and many more exciting guests and announcements will be made at the event.
Guests at the event are eligible for prizes including BIG JAM 2011 Concert Tickets at Allstate Arena with R. Kelly, Mindless Behavior, Young Jeezy, Jacob Latimore, L.E.P, Elle Varner and more; WGCI Coca-Cola Lounge Celebrity meet-and-greets; gift cards to local restaurants, hair salons and businesses; CD give-aways; Cheap Trick memorabilia; and much more.
Tickets for Playing for Peace can be purchased at the door. Adults are asked to make a minimum donation of $15 and $5 for children and students. Raffle ticket prices will range from $1 to $5, with bundle raffle ticket packages available.
All proceeds will be given to the Rockford Health Council and Violence Prevention Collaborative’s Crime/Violence Work Group to support their Gun Violence Awareness project.
For more about the event, follow playing4peace1 on Twitter and subscribe to the Playing For Peace page on Facebook. Hominick can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Jefferson High School is at 4145 Samuelson Road, Rockford.
From the Dec. 14-20, 2011, issue