Community servants to be recognized at Blue Note concert benefiting Silence the Violence

Thursday, September 12, 2013 | 11:18 a.m. CDT; updated 6:54 a.m. CDT, Friday, September 13, 2013

COLUMBIA — Past winners of a community service award named after Charlyn Y. Law will be recognized on Friday evening at a benefit for the Columbia Community Non-Violence Initiative.

Law was a former KOMU-TV promotions director who worked on numerous community projects. She served on the United Way Communications Committee for 10 years and created a series of public service spots for United Way that won first place in the National Broadcasters Association competition.

In 1987, the Charlyn Y. Law Memorial Award was created for individuals and groups in the community that demonstrate "compassion, commitment and resolve," according to the Heart of Missouri United Way.

Past recipients include Marty Siddall and Matt Garrett of KOMU; Kat Cunningham, Johnny Eaker, Brad Nanneman, Mike Alden and Mizzou Athletics.

In March, the Columbia Community Non-Violence Initiative was presented the Charlyn Y. Law Memorial Award for its Silence the Violence community work.

The Columbia Community Non-Violence Initiative was founded in 2012 in response to violent acts in the community. The initiative's main purpose is to keep Columbia residents informed about programs and opportunities created by businesses, organizations and groups in the city of Columbia. For example, the Initiative has advertised basketball camps at the Armory Sports & Recreation Center.

According to the Initiative's Facebook page, the group's mission is "to bring the Columbia community together and strategize initiatives to remove violence and focus on community unity and healing through education, employment and empowerment."

The Initiative's first major event was a Silence the Violence march and rally held in April 2012.

Silence the Violence is a part of the Initiative. Its goal is to bring attention to violent acts and support those who have been affected by violence. The money raised from events are used to pay for field trips and activities for Columbia's youth.

Recently, the Initiative held block parties in different neighborhoods of Columbia in an effort to bring residents of the community together.

Youth Empowerment Zone, Columbia Public Schools, the Columbia Police Department and the mayor's office are some of the groups that support Silence the Violence.

The Silence the Violence Benefit Concertwill feature Charles Law, the son of Charlyn Y. Law, and his band The Crossroads Blues Project. Other acts will include the Missouri High Steppers and the Chump Change Blues Band.

It's important to bring a message of non-violence into the community because violence is not the way to respond to situations in life, said Communications Coordinator Jonathan Lowe.

Heart of Missouri United Way has partnered with the Initiative for the Silence the Violence Benefit Concert that will be held at 5:30 on Friday at The Blue Note. Tickets are $10.

Proceeds for the event will be split between the Heart of Missouri United Way and Silence the Violence.

This is the first benefit concert that will be hosted by the initiative, but this isn't the group's first fundraiser.

Supervising editor is John Schneller.

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