EAST ST. LOUIS, Ill. – Hundreds gathered Saturday in East St. Louis to call for an end to gun violence. Organizers are zeroing in on one particular segment of the population: Fathers.

Father’s Day weekend is often a time to think about family, community, and friends, but there’s also a serious message at Lincoln Park. An outdoor community event called “Put Down The Guns And Pick Up Your Sons” sheds light on the issue among fatherly figures.

Organizers say the event is not only about personal responsibility, but also about taking a stand against violence. Some who gathered Saturday are actual survivors of gun violence, including one four-year-old victim.

Saturday marked the 11th year of the event, and organizers say it is getting larger every year. Studio 618 is also supporting this year’s event. While addressing a serious matter, the event also featured live music, go-karts, and family fun activties.

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