Joyce Carson grew up near Douglass Park, and her children grew up going to Douglass Park, so news of a fatal shooting at the park in June hit close to home.
That's why Carson and her husband, a minister at New Beginnings Church in Georgetown, came to the free screening of Annie at a community get-together Thursday.
The movie screening, along with free popcorn, pizza and speeches from local pastors, is part of an effort by Lexington police and the Georgetown Street Neighborhood Association to make people feel safe in the park.
"I know that there's been fear," Carson said. "But if we come out in numbers ... and show them our strength, that fear goes away."
Never miss a local story.
The June 21 shooting, which happened during the Dirt Bowl basketball tournament, injured three people and left one dead. No one was arrested, and the tournament was moved from the park to the Dunbar Community Center for the rest of the summer amid concerns from players, referees, coaches and citizens.
Sgt. Rahsaan Berry, who lives just around the block from the park and helped organize the movie screening, said when a shooting happens in Lexington, it affects the whole city. Berry said he hopes to see other parts of the city come out and support Douglass Park.
"We are all Lexingtonians. We want our city to be just incredible," Berry said.
The event is "something that I've dreamed about," Berry said.
Berry's father, Ulysses Berry, was assistant Lexington police chief and started a number of programs similar to Thursday's event, so Rahsaan Berry was glad to follow in his father's footsteps and help strengthen his neighborhood.
"This is my home, my backyard," Rahsaan Berry said. "The park is a safe place in our community."
Pastors who spoke to the crowd, about 20 or 30 people, all spoke of individuals taking responsibility for their community, then coming together to solve the problems of violence and fear.
Keith Tyler with Antioch Missionary Baptist Church said that if the neighborhood people stand up for their park and their safety, things will get better.
"Quit waiting for someone to come into the 'hood and do something," Tyler told the crowd. "You're in the 'hood, you do something. You have a duty, you start it, you rise up. The police can't do it all, the preachers can't do it all."
Carson said Thursday's events, and the weekly events to follow, will help, but she said the anger and hopelessness within some people in the neighborhood may be too strong to be easily destroyed.
"I want to say to them, 'Why are you destroying your community? It's somebody else's child, it's somebody else's brother,'" Carson said. "If you say, 'It's because I'm poor,' I grew up with holes in my shoes in a time when prejudice was rampant."
More than anything, Carson hopes to sit down with people causing violence and tell them there is no need to feel hopeless.
Frozen will be shown at the park on July 23 at 8:15 p.m. There will also be church meetings Tuesdays and Thursdays from 6:30 to 7:30 at the Douglass Park pavilion.