Mother of slain Kalamazoo man organizing walk for peace

Updated: Saturday, August 23, 2014
Mother of slain Kalamazoo man organizing walk for peace story image

KALAMAZOO, Mich. (NEWSCHANNEL 3) - The mother of a Kalamazoo murder victim will be hitting the streets, with hundreds of people, Saturday. She's hoping to create a safe haven for young kids in the city.

Newschannel 3's Ryan Duffy has a preview of the peace march and shows us the mother behind it all. He's live in Kalamazoo.

Toni McGhee's son was killed in 2003. That's what started her on her mission. She's organizing the march against violence and she wants to open a place where kids can get away from the violence.

McGhee has been selling t-shirts with the faces of 42 murder victims on them, people killed on the streets since 2003. One of the faces on the shirts is her own son, Andre Reason.

After her son's death, she opened Toni's Praise Place on Burdick Street, but was recently forced to close when the building wasn't up to code. She hopes to use money from the t-shirts to open a new facility.

McGhee says, "I wanted to take something painful and turn it into praise, take something bad and turn it into something good, so I wanted to help other kids be safe. I've lost my son, so I know how the parents feel, losing their children. It's something you never get over yet you want to come back and make a difference in other people's lives."

The Walk for Peace is Saturday in Kalamazoo. It starts at 5 p.m., at Farrell Park on Rose Street. Between 300 and 500 people are expected to be there.

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