News Release - Mayor Warren, Monroe County Executive Brooks and Bishop David Singleton to Issue Community Call to Prayer at #ROCtogether Unity Picnic

City of Rochester

News Release 

(Friday, Sept. 4, 2015) – Mayor Lovely A. Warren, Monroe County Executive Maggie Brooks and Bishop David Singleton, Senior Pastor of the Ark of Jesus Ministries will issue a community call to prayer to end the violence in Rochester. The call to prayer will take place at 12:30 p.m. at the #ROCtogether Unity Picnic on Saturday, Sept. 5 at Genesee Valley Park near the Sports Complex, 131 Elmwood Ave. The free picnic starts at noon and features various City programs and services for youth and families, anti-violence outreach initiatives and employment programs.

“Rochester needs every person, right now, to pray together for the end the senseless violence in our city,” said Mayor Warren. “We have long recognized that the relationship between the community and members of the local clergy is a strong one, and we look forward to gathering together to promote peace and show our youth that we are behind them--encouraging them, supporting them, and praying for them. Together we can find solutions to our problems and strive to create safer more vibrant neighborhoods, more jobs for our citizens and better educational opportunities for our children.”

“The Unity Picnic will shine light upon the great things that can happen when our community comes together,” said County Executive Maggie Brooks. “Partnerships and cooperation are key, and here in Monroe County we are fortunate to have such wonderful partnerships with our faith community. Thanks to our faith leaders and partners in government, Saturday’s event will provide local youth and families a unique chance to learn about positive opportunities and in turn, help improve outcomes for the future.”

“The place of unity is the place of the commanded blessing,” said Bishop Singleton. “For this cause let’s raise the level of our joint commitment in helping and healing. I’m asking all residents of our city and county to pray for a favorable change and wholeness to our greater community. Additionally, I know that we all matter and touch precious lives, therefore, I ask that everyone find a place to factor in the healing process and be an active part of the changes we need and want to see in our community.”

The Unity Picnic and prayer will occur during a series of family-friendly events under “A Day to #ROCtogether,” hosted and sponsored in part by WDKX radio, to support city youth and promote peace. The day starts at 10 a.m. with a back-to-school rally and anti-violence march at the Liberty Pole Downtown, followed by the Unity Picnic and community call to prayer, and ends with the ROC The Park music festival at Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Park.

During the Unity Picnic, the admission fee for the Genesee Valley Park outdoor pool will be waived in lieu of donations to the Boys and Girls Club of Rochester. Representatives from the Mayor’s Operation Transformation Rochester employment program, City Recreation and Pathways to Peace will be on hand to share information about City programming available to youth and adults.

Free lunch at the #ROCtogether Unity Picnic is made possible by the following sponsors: Foodlink; Joseph A. Floreano Rochester Riverside Convention Center; JFS Foods; Coca-Cola of Rochester; Petrillo’s Bakery; Nick Petrillo Wholesale; Palmer Food Services; Walmart; Zweigles.

For more information, call 311 (dial 428-5990 if calling from outside of city limits) or visit www.cityofrochester.gov/roctogether.

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News Media: For more information, contact Press Officer Jessica Alaimo, 428-7135.