A little corner of Levee Park went orange Saturday as volunteers handed out orange creamsicles, orange T-shirts, orange wristbands and orange stickers on behalf of the Winona Area Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America chapter. The group sponsored an information table near the Levee Park Patio splash pad to mark Wear Orange Day.
“We can end gun violence” was the message displayed by dozens of signs displayed at the park—all in orange, of course.
Wear Orange Day originated in 2013 after 15-year-old Hadiya Pendleton was shot and killed in a Chicago park. The teen had performed at President Obama’s 2nd inaugural parade just a week earlier. After her death, her friends asked others to stand up, speak out, and Wear Orange to raise awareness about gun violence.
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At its event, the Winona group noted that increased gun violence affects everyone, taking the lives of 468 Minnesotans in 2017 and 24 Winona County residents between 2013 and 2017; meanwhile, school lockdowns and active shooter drills affect all local students.
Moms Demand Action exists to raise awareness about gun violence, promote gun safety, and press for common sense legislation to advance both of those goals. Anyone interested in joining the local chapter can get in touch through the Minnesota Moms Demand Action website.