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Troy Chavez Memorial Peace Garden

Society’s unseen illnesses are often easy for the mainstream to ignore, the “what-can-I-do” syndrome.

Gang-bangin’ is one such illness, for which the only cure is community. This community, however, seemingly forgot about gang-bangin’ until Denver Bronco Darrent Williams lost his life to it on New Year’s Eve. Now, with a renewed sense of energy, Denver’s fighting back. And volunteers are needed on the battleground tomorrow.

The last time Denver mobilized to this level to fight this battle was the infamous Summer of Violence, 1993, the year Troy Chavez was killed in gangland warfare. Together with help from the community, his mother, Ana Chavez de Quintana, has been maintaining the Troy Chavez Memorial Peace Garden, a collection of healing herbs, fruits and vegetables and flowers maintained in the memory of Troy and all the other children whose lives were lost to violence.

Keeping alive the memory of kids like Troy is an integral part of keeping younger generations from making the same mistakes. The garden is a place designed to get kids to rethink their violent tendencies before they offend and by contributing a bit of garden work to keep the peace vibe going, Denverites can help make sure they’re not the next Troy Chavez, the next Darrent Williams or the next of hundreds of others who’ve lost their lives to senseless violence in the Mile High.

Work starts at 7 am. at the garden, 3825 Shoshone Street.

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Crystal Preston-Watson