Friday, December 19, 2014

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Amsterdam works together for brighter tomorrow

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Albany/HV: Amsterdam works together for brighter tomorrow
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The City of Amsterdam is coming together to reach a common goal. Our Maria Valvanis has more on how residents of all ages are responding to tragedy by working to create a better tomorrow.

AMSTERDAM, N.Y. -- Jerome Bowens said, "I was close friends with them and knowing that happened that easily and they had nothing to do, makes me think that could happen to anyone that is bored with nothing to do."

Tragedy struck the City of Amsterdam just over a month ago, when Paul Damphier, 16, and Jonathan DeJesus, 13, were brutally murdered. Wednesday morning, city teens visited Mayor Thane to share their ideas on what activities would appeal to them to keep them off the streets and in a safe environment.

"My primary focus was to get a skate park going, but now we got some more ideas going, things related to art, music," said Andrew Senese.

"They came with their ideas and they couple really beautifully with what the community task force is doing here, so we'll get them connected and expand our reach," said Thane.

The task force, made up of members from the school district, police department and community, also met Wednesday, sharing their ideas on how to reach the common goal.

"We're going to try and make all the money we can, hold a bunch of different events and hopefully build a rec center," said task force member, and victim's cousin, Casey Martin.

And the Community Task Force will be holding their first youth event this Saturday at Veteran's Field.

"We'll be having the three on three basketball tournament to raise money," said Thane.

"Were trying to get everybody, all the young kids all the old kids all the adults, were trying to get everyone together for a good cause," said Martin.

Mayor Thane tells us she believes the efforts of both groups will help prevent a similar tragedy from happening again.

"Just like all the time whenever there is a real crisis here, this community blossoms and we responded immediately and we respond with compassion," said Thane.

"I don't want to see it happen to any of my friends or me," said Bowens.

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