Score4More Inc.’s 5th annual community event for peace attracted well over 2,000 people in three days, including Mayor Walsh, this year. The “Save Our Streets” Silence the Violence Summer Classic weekend is the largest event devoted to community unifying, building, upkeep and peace. Each year it fuses a basketball tournament with hallmarks of summer fun for all of the community to enjoy.
“Save Our Streets is a three day event; we’re in our fifth year and it’s to bring peace to the neighborhood and to really bring the community out to have a good time without the violence. It’s also a chance to recognize those that we have lost [to violence]. We use basketball as a vehicle to promote peace, the non-violence factor,” said Raymond Noiles, a Score4More co-founder.
And this year was no different — the #SaveRStreets hashtag quickly dubbed the event a successful, safe highlight of the summer on social media from Boston residents of all ages.
“I’ve been coming to the Save Our Streets tournament since they started and enjoy the theme of it because as you know, we have streets in this community that have been plagued by violence decade after decade and it never seems to improve. This is a much more public and grassroots effort, one where you don’t always see men a part of the team that’s sponsoring the anti-violence initiatives in the city, but we need to change the narrative about what the opportunities and possibilities are for this community so I applaud Score4More for doing that,” said Eric Esteves, 34, Roxbury resident and candidate for MA state representative.
To kickoff the weekend there was a 35 and over match that set the premise for the many games that would follow on Saturday before the championship ones on Sunday declared a tournament winner. And while basketball may have been the main attraction, there were 500 athletes alone, the park was teeming with items for the community’s enjoyment.
People were greeted with smiles as they were served grilled hot dogs, hamburgers and chicken, ice cold drinks and J.P. Licks ice cream for free. As children, and some adults, got their faces painted echoes of children’s laughter rang from the large bouncy houses nearby. Others swayed to the songs the live disc jockey played while others bought t-shirts etched with the fluorescent words ‘Save R Streets’ in support of Score4More and their message to adopt peace in Boston’s streets.
Members of Operation L.I.P.S.T.I.C.K., an acronym for Ladies Involved in Putting a Stop To Inner-City Killing, a Boston-based coalition of women “working to keep guns out of the hands of criminals and youth without abridging the freedoms of law-abiding Americans,” according to their website, had an informational table set up and raffled away gifts as they joined in support of Score4More Inc.’s stand against violence.
“We just really wanted to be here. Even though it’s a women’s campaign we need a village, so we try to address the men also because we all can make a difference,” said Ruth Rollins, Program Director of Operation L.I.P.S.T.I.C.K.
Fundraising is integral to the success of this non-profit, but a testament to the positivity and impact Score4More Inc. continuously brings and fosters in the community is evident in the number of sponsors they receive.
Mayor Marty Walsh was not only a sponsor but the one responsible for ensuring the Jeep Jones park lights stayed on extra long to ensure the games finished and people were able to get home safely. In addition, they were sponsored by
Boston Foundation, Grove Hall Trust, Weld Management, Cruz Companies, Victor Francis Contracting, The Family Movement, Boston Police Department, Boston PAL, Foreign Auto Specialist, Empire Party Rental, J.P. Licks, Tropical Foods, DST Lifestyle, Fishscale, Kayem Foods, Qinzani’s Bakery, Roxbury Action Program, Young Professional Network of the Urban League, the Titus family and several more.
“When it was started it was like let’s do something for the community and also offer something great for the basketball community; it’s just that over time we keep losing more people. And so when you’re trying to do good work in the community and there’s consistent violence, you can’t ignore it,” said Liz Miranda, Score4More co-director. “I don’t know any other place that you can get hundreds of young black men in a positive place so why not bring them in through basketball and then provide them with other means of hope.”
Score4More Inc. is a non-profit organization that began in 2010 for educating and mentoring student athletes aged 9-19 that has evolved into an instrument to provide positive programming and events to the community at large.
But while Score4More Inc. is consistently revered for their hard work and commitment to bettering the city of Boston, the amount of news coverage their events receives far wanes in comparison. Given the warm reception and large turnout all of their events garner, the organization has expressed disheartening sentiments about the lack of interest other news outlets have shown them despite their good deeds.
“Every time I see a kid smile out of control and see joy in a kid’s face, in their body language, makes me incredibly happy. And then when I see the young men feel safe here, that everything is all good and when they go home after something like thisthey’re not worried, that also fulfills me very much,” Miranda added. “I just hope that more people in their twenties and thirties learn to give back more. It isn’t the easiest thing, to fundraise or throw community events, but just because it doesn’t exist doesn’t mean you can’t create it.”
Up next the organization will host their annual Back to School Supplies Giveaway this month so all students, regardless of their age, can be adequately equipped to start the school year off right. Visit http://www.score4more.org for additional details.