LARGO — The Greater Ridgecrest YMCA will host a community meeting at 6 p.m. today organized by several local men concerned about a recent spate of violence in the community.
YMCA sports coordinator Robert Whiting first met with the men, several of them youth sports coaches, two weeks ago to share ideas about a way to prevent violence like a Nov. 23 drive-by shooting near the YMCA that killed 19-year-old Gregory Williams of Clearwater. There have been no arrests in the case and it is unclear whether Williams was the intended target.
The men, who come from all walks of life but trace their roots to the Ridgecrest area west of Largo, want to get as many young men as they can find to come to the YMCA tonight. They plan to share stories about the pain of prison and about successful young men from Ridgecrest, said Vernon Bryant, executive director of the YMCA.
Bryant hopes for a turnout in the hundreds.
"When this community really does pull together, I've seen some amazing things," he said.
The Greater Ridgecrest YMCA is located at 1801 119th St. N, Largo. For more information about tonight's meeting, call Bryant at (727) 559-0500.