The Soka Gakkai (SGI-USA) will host “Building a Culture of Peace, A Fair In Honor of Eddie Lopez” from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, July 29th at the Santa Monica Community Center, 2601 Pico Boulevard in Santa Monica.

This community event is free and open to the public.

Lopez was a 15-year-old honor student at Santa Monica High School who was mistaken for a gang member and shot and killed near the SGI-USA Community Center.

The memorial is being held in an effort to bring attention to the efforts people can make in bringing about a non-violent community.

Highlights include a special tree-planting ceremony at the Santa Monica Community Center, interactive workshops on nonviolence, activities specifically geared for elementary, junior high and high school students, music and performances by youth groups and free refreshments.

Members of local government have been invited to help celebrate the life of Lopez and offer words of encouragement.

“As an organization focused on young people, the SGI-USA supports the United Nations International Decade for a Culture of Peace and nonviolence for the children of the world,” said Marc Sachnoff, event organizer.

“This untimely death of a beloved local youth has underscored our determination to establish a culture of peace in our own community so that we may prevent these tragedies in the future,” Sachnoff said.

Soka Gakkai International-USA is a culturally diverse Buddhist association with 85 centers throughout the country. Its community-based activities invite a shared commitment to the values of peace, culture and education.

The memorial promises to not only celebrate the life of Eddie Lopez but bring the local community together in friendship and dialogue towards a new beginning.

Free parking is available at the Santa Monica Community Center, 2601 Pico Boulevard in Santa Monica. Parking is also available at the Venice Family Clinic (next door) and Rite Aid (across the street on Pico Boulevard).

Information, Allison Queen at (310) 621-7266 or aqpublic@ sbcglobal.net or Doris McCloskey at (310) 490-8772 or dorismcc@mindspring.com.

Information about SGI-USA, www.sgi-usa.org.

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