Thursday evening, the Fresno Police Department teamed up with Blackbeard’s to hold their annual fundraiser. Half the money from all ticket sales benefits the program bringing broken neighborhoods back to life. The funds will help pay for nearly 30 block parties scheduled to happen throughout the summer.
Hundreds of kids, mostly from the tough streets of west Fresno, were treated to a free night of food and rides at the entertainment center.
Reporter: Do you get to do stuff like this all the time?
No, never. That's why it's fun for me today,” said Christal Fields, a 14-year old Central High student.
Bringing Broken Neighborhoods Back to Life has the goal of creating safer streets in the city's worst areas by uniting with the people in those communities.
Police Captain, Greg Garner, wants youngsters to know they do have alternatives.
“They may be surrounded by negative things, but they can have a positive future. They don't have to fall into that trap of thinking that if my parents, my brother or neighbor were involved in gangs or drugs that I have to be,” said Capt. Garner.
Kids get the chance to make relationships and hopefully build trust in police.
“That’s what it's all about. Bridging those gaps so that the community can trust officials and officials can trust the community,” said Brittany Edwards, a worker with the Mary Ella Brown Center.
Meanwhile at Shields and Hughes, a candlelight vigil was held for 24 year old Marvin Carolina. He is one of the two men killed in this area last week during a quadruple shooting.
“He happened to be at the wrong place at the wrong time just visiting a friend,” said Niquah, who is Marvin’s cousin.
She is one of the many who are fed up with violence.
“This all needs to come to a stop. This is ridiculous,” said Niquah.
This area will get a chance to take a step in the right direction in a couple of weeks. That's when Broken Neighborhoods plans to host one of its block parties.
“Hopefully we're going to be able to provide that positive experience to the people that live in that area so they understand that was tragic, but that isn't where it has to stay,” said Capt. Garner.