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Home  |  News  |  Picnics aim to heal community

Picnics aim to heal community
Wednesday, April 18, 2012

 
AIKEN, SC - After tragedy strikes a community, thinking ahead and planning for the future is a step in the right direction.

The City of Aiken is doing just that. This weekend, two picnics will be held, one at H. Odell Weeks and the other at Eustis Park. This picnicking event, called Food for Thoughts, is to offer residents a communal meal of hotdogs and hamburgers and in return, they share their ideas or concerns with city officials through a survey.

It's a win-win situation for Aikenites.

This event is in response to the shooting deaths of two Aiken Public Safety officers, Master Public Safety Officer Scotty Richardson last December and Master Cpl. Sandy Rogers in late January.

The first incident stunned and saddened the community. The second, a little more than a month later, evoked the same feelings but had many questioning what was happening to the quiet and seemingly safe environment of this city.

As City Manager Richard Pearce said, when tragedy hits, there is a time to mourn and a time to heal. A part of that healing is looking to the future and figuring out what to do to preserve the quality of life in the community.

Communication is key and with that in mind, the city put together these picnics, one on the north side and the other on the south side of Aiken, in efforts to gather the thoughts of residents all around the area. The hope is that through these surveys, city officials will be able to formulate a game plan to make residents feel happy and secure in their own community.

Not only does this show the strength of a city that faced adversity through violent crimes but it shows that it really does care about the people who live within its limits.

That alone should make us all feel a little safer.

The first Food For Thoughts picnic will be held Friday from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at Virginia Acres Park at the picnic shelter near the H. Odell Weeks Activities Center, 1700 Whiskey Road.

The second picnic will be held Saturday from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at Eustis Park located off Edgefield Avenue N.W.

Source: http://www.aikenstandard.com/story/0418-editorial-city-food-for-thoughts--3937675

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