Frankford Stops The Violence with basketball tournament

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- On Saturday Frankford's Gambrel Recreation Center became the epicenter for some good old fashion fun.

With an all-day basketball tournament and summer barbecue, the community rallied to "Stop The Violence."

If you were wondering if stuff like this has an impact, young basketball player Nasir Edwards said, "It just gets everyone outside to play basketball, not bad things, just worry about basketball."

This day was made possible by the Donovan Williams Memorial Foundation.

Dionne Williams is Donovan's mom.

She said, "Five years ago he committed suicide. So we do this every year."

On Saturday she manned the grill for hungry players.

She says her son loved the game and if it can help others with mental health issues or make them feel like part of a team then it's worth it.

She said, "We have a lot of kids that have mental health issues and behavior issues that they're not exposing. So we try to come out and express to them to let them know if they need help we're here."

We also spoke with Nashid Edwards who played a major part in setting this all up.

He said, "It teaches integrity, it teaches comradery and teaches sportsmanship. if we can save one child today we've done our job."

Now for a few minutes, the games stopped.

Edwards alongside State Rep. Jason Dawkins and Congressman Brendan Boyle presented families impacted by violence with plaques.

They included one for Kristen Venziale whose father, Michael Gleba, was shot and killed by a stray bullet back on April 11 while working in his body shop in Wissinoming.

She too hopes for more events like these to bring us all together.

She said, "Hopefully it'll give them enough knowledge and good experience they won't want to lift a gun up in their future."

For more information, visit the Donovan Williams Memorial Foundation, or click here.
Copyright © 2019 WPVI-TV. All Rights Reserved.