DES MOINES, Iowa--The scene at Philadelphia Seventh Adventist Church's Day to Play Together at Martin Luther King Jr. Park was a far cry from Friday night where a man was shot and killed one block away in the 1200 block of Sampson Street. The Des Moines Police Department continues to investigate the shooting. The church's pastor, Keith Hackle, said "The shooting, we are sad about that but this is a way to say hey, we are in this community, positivity is in this community and ultimately we want to take this community back."
Despite the humidity, dozens gathered to help show neighborhood strength. "Just to show people it is a good place. You know I grew up here all my life and I'm fine, but unfortunately there's things that happen, bumps in the road but we overcome them. We are strong, we are east side," said Quinton Moore.
The event also gave kids a chance to compete for basketball supremacy over three age groups in a three on three basketball tournament. Twelve year old participants Elijah Turner and Jecoyie Scott said, "The best part was we just played 3 on 3 together all as a team and just had fun and we're getting better."
While most businesses shut down on Labor Day, Diamond Kutz, a local barber shop and salon, offered their services free of charge. "Anything for the neighborhood, for the kids for real. you know there's been a lot going on and this is something good for the community," said Richard Walker, who works at Diamond Kutz.
For a few hours this east Des Moines neighborhood displayed the positivity they hope can shine bright all year long. Gloria Turner said, "There might be negative things that happen but there's going to be much more love. We are going to come back ten times harder to let them know we are here and going to make a change."