Wear Orange Friday! Holyoke hosting Gun Violence Awareness Day event

Balloons will be released in honor of those lost to gun violence

Holyoke is receiving the most funding out of all western Massachusetts communities

HOLYOKE, Mass. (WWLP) – People across the country will be wearing orange Friday in honor of National Gun Violence Awareness Day. The nationwide “Wear Orange” campaign has even reached western Massachusetts.

Holyoke Mayor Alex Morse is scheduled to host an event at City Hall Friday afternoon, and encourages all attendees to wear orange in solidarity with those who have lost someone to gun violence. The event will begin at 4:00 p.m.

Scheduled speakers include a college shooting survivor and a man who lost his mother to a shooting in the city’s Flats neighborhood. The ceremony will end with prayer and a balloon release in remembrance of those lost to gun violence.

In a release sent to 22News, Morse says its important to confront the issue of gun violence as a community.

“In Holyoke, many people have friends, neighbors, and classmates who have been a victim of gun violence or who have lost a loved one,” Morse said. “Anne Thalheimer is a great spokesperson for this cause, and when she came to my office to propose this event, I immediately jumped on board. I really want to bring illegal guns and gun violence to the forefront of our community conversations. I hope residents will come out on Friday to wear orange and stand together as a city against gun violence.”

Anyone who has lost someone to gun violence is encouraged to bring photos or memorabilia to the city hall event.

Wear Orange events are also being held in Boston, Worcester, Salem, New Bedford, Fall River, Taunton, and Newburyport.