The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA


July 12, 2013

Neighborhoods stepping up

Run/walk part of city ‘fighting back’ effort

— A lot of worthy causes have been financially bolstered this spring and summer through organized, public runs/walks and sidebar activities.

But few probably have more meaning than a fundraiser scheduled Aug. 10 and co-sponsored by three city of Johnstown neighborhood organizations.

What is being billed as the inaugural “10 Against ‘K’rime,” a 10K run/fun walk, will be held at Roxbury Park and co-sponsored by the Roxbury Civic Group, Moxham Neighborhood Watch and West End Improvement Group.

Organizers see this event as having several goals.

* A fundraiser to help purchase surveillance cameras for the three neighborhoods.

* An effort to help city police officers do their jobs.

* A promotion for a healthy lifestyle.

* A way to provide entertainment for area residents.  

We also see it as a morale booster for a city anguishing as its population dwindles, its economy struggles, and now has been told that its crime rate is rising and the community is no longer the safe family haven it once was.

We applaud the joint neighborhood effort and the individuals who are giving their time to organize it. We urge other residents to step up and volunteer to help out wherever they’re needed, and certainly to offer their support by attending and participating.

“We all have similar problems in our own neighborhoods,” Marie Mock, secretary-treasurer of the West End Improvement Group, told our Dave Sutor. “I think we have to start doing things jointly. ... As a collaborative group, I think we can probably get more people involved.”

She’s spot-on.

For those unaware, Mock also gives her time as a councilwoman and as a key volunteer in her church. She is also a big supporter of and cheerleader for the city.

People like Mock and other organizers of this event don’t get enough credit for their efforts. Most of the positive accomplishments in Johnstown come through hard work and through the efforts of far-too-few people.

“I think that it’s time the neighborhoods step up and try to help. ... We’re not going to allow this crime and violence in our town,” Roxbury Civic Group Chairperson Linda Orlosky told Sutor.

“It’s going to be a fun day,” Mock said of the Aug. 10 activities, which also will include a band, demonstrations by the Johnstown Police Department K-9 Corps and Cambria County Special Emergency Response Team, and children’s entertainment by the Classic Clown Club.

We hope thousands of city residents and others put it on their calendars.

We see this as just one exciting example of city neighborhoods coming together and fighting back.

Fundraiser in 8th Ward

What: 10K run/fun walk (music, demonstrations and other activities also planned)

When: Begins 9 a.m. Aug. 10

Where: Roxbury Park

Cost: $15

Registration: Email

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What is the biggest key to reducing gun violence in Johnstown?

Tackling the area's drug problem.
Controlling folks moving into city housing.
Monitoring folks in treatment centers and halfway houses.
Tougher sentencing by the court system.
More police on the streets.

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