HAVERHILL — Although it will soon disband after nearly 20 years of working to make Haverhill a better and safer place, the Haverhill Community Violence Prevention Coalition made one last statement in the form of a metal sculpture created by well-known artist Dale Rogers.
The coalition hosted an unveiling on May 18 at the site of the sculpture, which was installed in a meadow to the left of Winnekenni Basin.
Patti Gleason along with fellow coalition board member Susan Kane recently appeared before the City Council to extend a formal invitation to councilors and to thank them for their support.
The nearly 7-foot tall sculpture, titled "Hands," is in Rogers' catalog. It bears a laser-cut inscription of a quote by famous cultural anthropologist Margaret Mead: "Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has."
Kane told The Eagle-Tribune that the coalition's efforts over the years have included forming several neighborhood watch groups; conducting an annual back-to-school backpack giveaway at the Citizens Center; co-sponsoring Neighborhood Partners for Peace, an outreach program; hosting a program called "Keeping the Peace" on local cable access; providing training for a trauma response team; and creating a pilot program for children in kindergarten through third grade who witnessed violence.
The sculpture commemorates the coalition's work in education and raising awareness about social problems that contribute to violence, developing strong families and peaceful neighborhoods, supporting conflict resolution and forging strong bonds among the people and the agencies that serve the city.