Pitching for Peace: Softball game brings community together

Each year, “Pitching for Peace” brings people in Avondale together. (WKRC)

AVONDALE, Ohio. (WKRC) – The field is full of firefighters, police officers -- men and women from the community.

Each year, “Pitching for Peace” brings people together. Watching off on the side is Mizzan Anderson. Anderson lost her only child, Larry Anderson, Jr., to gun violence.

“Well this is my first Pitching for Peace. The last couple of years I always missed it,” Anderson said. "I actually have met some more mothers over here that have lost some kids to homicide."

Larry's death is the kind of thing that the organizers of this event want to prevent. This is the fifth year they've gathered at the Hirsch Recreation Center in Avondale to spread a positive message.

Don Jordan is a Cincinnati police officer who grew up in the neighborhood. He started the event.

Jordan said, “To put this event together every year, it means the world to me because I want the young people that's in this neighborhood, and that comes from outside the neighborhood because this is not just an Avondale event. I want people to come out here and see that together we can accomplish so much more together than apart."

In addition to softball, there's food, music and the event is also a resource fair.

Patrick Cartier is a community organizer with the Avondale Comprehensive Development Corporation.

“It's really just about combating crime with opportunity. So we feel like people who are working and doing more positive things will do a little less negative things,” Cartier said. “We have the office of re-entry here. We have the Army here doing recruitment. We have Project Connect here for homeless resources for students. We have the Urban League here doing some work for us, Cincinnati Works.”

For Mizzan Anderson, this was a chance to come out and enjoy her neighbors instead of sitting home and letting sadness overwhelm her.

She said, “It's a struggle, but I keep on going just one step at a time and live every moment.”

For the men and women who organize the event each year, seeing the community come together is worth it.

Jordan said, “We can't do it alone. We have to do it together.”

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