GOSHEN — Residents of Goshen came together Wednesday, May 15, in the Chamberlain neighborhood to make a positive statement about their community.
About 240 residents participated in a walk through the neighborhood in response to a shooting that took place in the community last month.
The walk was organized by several groups, including the Chamberlain Neighborhood Association, several area churches, LaCasa Inc., the Boys and Girls Club, Goshen College and the Goshen Community Relations Commission.
The number of participants in the walk greatly exceeded the organizers’ expectations, said Julia King of LaCasa.
“I think it demonstrated that people wanted to be a part of something positive,” she said. “It just says a lot about our community that people responded so positively.”
“People were genuinely looking for a reason to do something positive and fun,” added Nate Mateer-Rempel of the Chamberlain Neighborhood Association. “There were so many neighborhood stakeholders involved. That just helps bring people out.”
Though the walk was organized and took place largely within the Chamberlain neighborhood, Mateer-Rempel said some of the walkers came from the larger Goshen community.
Several members of the Goshen High School marching band even showed up, playing a few songs as the group moved through the neighborhood.
“It put a spring in all our steps,” King said.
North Goshen Mennonite Church supplied flowers that walkers handed out to people they as they passed along their 1.5-mile trek.
King said some people even joined the procession as they made their way along the route.
“I was at the head of a three-block line,” Mateer-Rempel noted, adding he wasn’t sure how many people actually joined the group as they went along.
The walk concluded after about 36 minutes back where it started, on the lawn off of Middlebury Street, where participants enjoyed ice cream provided by Walnut Hills Mennonite Church and St. Mark’s United Methodist Church.