Tuesday, Oct 03rd

Scarsdale Stands Against Gun Violence

MomsGroupShotDressed in orange t-shirts, Mom Against Gun Violence along with Village Trustees and Managers, public safety officers, state Senator Shelly Mayer and supporters gathered at Village Hall on the first Friday in June for National Gun Violence Day. With 120 people a day killed due to gun violence, the group is calling for “an end to gun violence in all of its forms, including domestic violence, suicide, and city gun violence.”

In Scarsdale the group was led by Pat Collela who passed away in May. So in addition to recognizing the mission of the organization, the ceremony remembered Pat as well. Her husband, daughter and family members attended.

Mayor Justin Arest opened the ceremony saying, “This is a different year for the village recognizing national gun violence awareness day, as well as wear orange weekend. We often take some of the best community volunteers for granted and that is because of how effective and organized they are in their various causes. And in this one, like clockwork, the board would not only recognize the important day and cause at our meetings but we would also have orange T-shirt’s and ribbons. Again, this dais different. And that’s because Ms. Pat Colella is not with us. But I am so appreciative that her friends and family are here to support this cause and I and the board and village are proud to stand with them; to stand together against gun violence and remember a tireless advocate and volunteer. “gunviolenceRandy Whitestone, Justin Arest and Kelly Rogers

He noted the startling statistics:

“In 2021, the most recent year for which complete data is available, 48,830 people died from gun-related injuries in the U.S., according to the CDC. That figure includes gun murders at 43% and gun suicides at 54%, along with three less common types of gun-related deaths tracked by the CDC which fall in the other category: those that were accidental, those that involved law enforcement and those whose circumstances could not be determined. These which are categorized as “Other” account for the remaining 3%. The total excludes deaths in which gunshot injuries played a contributing, but not principal, role. “

He said, “This is an American problem. This shouldn’t be a political issue. Public safety, saving lives, is hopefully the priority of every government at every level of this nation. I wish we could all collectively work together and keep politics out of this. Scarsdale is proud to make our voices heard in making our nation safer.”

Trustee Randy Whitestone rememberd Pat Collela saying, “We wouldn't be here today if it weren't for Pat and her commitment to this and other important causes. Having known her for 20 years, since our daughters played softball together on a team she coached I saw in action that when she was passionate about something she devoted herself completely to it -- with diplomacy, a smile, and real determination. She was the definition of a caring community volunteer, whether it was doing outreach for the Congregational Church, coaching softball, or being the face and voice of the local chapter of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense. We are here to carry on her commitment to gun safety and will continue this tradition in years to come in her honor.”

Reverend Kelly Rogers of Scarsdale Congregational Church said, “We lift up the victims of gun violence today. We continue this work and we are Pat’s hands s and feet….It takes a community to do work like this. We will be back on the first Friday in June until this ends.”

After the ceremony at Scarsdale Village Hall, the group continued to the Westchester County Center where they were joined on the steps by Westchester Sorority members of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Social Action Team and Westchester Gun Sense Candidates:

Victoria Presserwearorange
Jeremiah Frei-Pearson
J. Williams Johnson
Ximena Francella
NY Assemblywoman Maryjane Shimsky

Along with:

Moms Demand Action Volunteers and Leaders
Survivor Mom- Nadine Mckenzie
Katherine Schowalter
Amy Stern
Maggie O'Donovan Bolton
Fiona Noyes
Julia Prober
Sara Kober
Shelli Katz
Deborah Maher
Patricia Rosen
Lonnie Philo
Maryellen Chomsky


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