Hundreds Turn Out for Barnstable’s 2nd Annual Community Day

Hyannis – Local community group “People of Action,” together with the Town of Barnstable, and the Barnstable Police Department teamed up to present the second annual Unity Day yesterday.

The event, under the theme “Celebrating Unity in Our Community,” drew hundreds of children and adults to the Hyannis Village Green with the goal of bringing the community and police department together for a free day of food, music, raffles, and children’s activities.

“This is intended for all members of the community to join together peacefully with the Barnstable Police Department to show appreciation for one another and just enjoy the day on the village green,” said Barnstable Police Sergeant Sean Sweeney.

Members of the community were treated to free ice cream, hot dogs and burgers, representatives from Coca-Cola were on hand with a vending machine that distributed free soda with a hug. There were fire and police vehicles, a bouncy house, games, an animal display, and entertainment courtesy of Cape Harmony.

Unity Day is the brain child of brothers Andre and Jesse Barboza, from Hyannis, who first reached out to Police Chief Paul MacDonald last year seeking to engage officers with the community that they serve. The brothers were inspired to create the event after a number of conflicts between police personnel around the country and the public made national headlines.

“This isn’t a good thing for the police department, this is a good thing for the Town of Barnstable,” said MacDonald, “The Barboza family representing the minority community got together with the police department because of all the problems that were going on across the country, they didn’t recognize that those problems existed here and they wanted to get together with the police department and have a Unity Day for all the residents of the Town of Barnstable.”

Jesse Barboza formed “People of Action”, as a group of primarily young people who decided to come together and take action in making the community proud and address issues head-on to make a difference, and he says that Unity Day is a step in that direction.

“This is an opportunity for everyone to come together and celebrate our differences,” said Jesse Barboza, “We may not always see eye to eye, but we must learn to build trust and respect one another.”

The Barbozas say that it is important for both sides to have the occasion to gather peacefully together for a day of fun to show mutual appreciation.

“We’re here on a good cause trying to unite and build our community up,” said Jesse Barbozza, “we have people of all races and different classes of life coming out to celebrate a good time. The real reason we started this though was to bring police officers and the community together, we’re trying to unify some ugly things going on around the county and we’re really just trying to set a good example of what it looks like when different people come together and start working together.”

By David Beatty, NewsCenter

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