A local Elks lodge is holding an anti-violence march on Saturday, hoping it will inspire others to take up the message.

Wayne Johnson, a member of the Elks Pride of Rubber Town Lodge No. 1594 in Akron, said Thursday that the lodge hopes 50 to 100 people will participate in the Stop the Violence march.

“We wanted to show Akron we’re standing up for stopping the violence,” Johnson said. “The message is: ‘Stop the violence. Stop the domestic violence, stop the gun violence and … love thy neighborhood.’ ”

Rob Evans, a lodge member in charge of the event, said the idea evolved after a similar one by another Elks group.

“We had a brother lodge that did it in Cleveland,” Evans said. “I said, ‘We need to march against violence, too.’ ”

Evans expects an Akron councilwoman and local judges to participate in the march, and said anyone who wants to join is welcome.

“This will be the first year and I’d like to do it every year,” Evans said.

Participants will start at the Elks lodge at 1256 Moore St. about noon and march for about 1.4 miles, ending back at the lodge.

The event will begin with a balloon launch at 11:30 a.m. and wrap up with hot dogs and hamburgers for the marchers.

The march is in line with the Elks’ mission of charity, justice and brotherly and sisterly love, Evans said.

Johnson said killings, kidnappings and robberies are ruining neighborhoods and needs to stop.

“We want to clean up our neighborhood and clean up our city,” he said.

 

Alan Ashworth can be reached at 330-996-2859 or emailed at aashworth@thebeaconjournal.com. Follow him on Twitter at @newsalanbeaconjournal.