NORTH MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) Event organizers of the recent community crime awareness seminar said they are trying to encourage kids to do right once they are out of a structured school environment.
Katrina Ward said, "I think it was important because my son, Antonio, just to keep him on the right path. He's been getting in trouble at school." Ward brought her kids to the event recently that was held at North Myrtle Beach High School.
Reverend Jonathan Greene said, "We do see a lot of things going on just the other day with the bomb threats so we do see a lot of activity, but in any case we want to be proactive rather than react to what's going on."
About 50 parents and kids attended the seminar in an effort to encourage kids to say 'no,' and help stop crime. Lee Bellamy was instrumental in putting on the event.
Bellamy said, "I've been in prison myself and I did 24 years in prison and two years, almost three years was on death row." That is why Bellamy is doing what he can to help families in the community talk about parental involvement with their kids.
Bellamy stated, "In our communities it is [filled] with all kind of different diseases of drugs and aids and all these other different types of things, and so we tried to give them a great understanding of what is out there."
Horry County Police Chief Saundra Rhodes talked with the families as well as other officers like Lt. Anthony McCullough. McCullough said, "I truly believe our children are the future and if we start now, we mold them now and bend that tree while they are young. When they get older they will make adult and rational decisions."
McCullough talked about the dangers of drug use and the importance of having the right friends and influences. McCullough added, "It was a beautiful thing that I could actually get through to them enough to get their attention, that they would listen to me."
Parents said they were motivated to help their kids stay on track. Wismequres Predelus said, "Me, as a father, I want to step in his life because I never had my father in my life like I want to."
Parents said they plan to get their kids involved in structured recreational activities this summer to help keep them on the right track.