More than 150 people gathered at Mills Park on Saturday with a message for anyone who wants to deface the buildings of their community: We will no longer tolerate it.
"I think we can send a message to the people who are tagging these buildings that they can't use this as a form of communication or to mark their territory because as soon as the graffiti appears it will disappear," said Carson City Supervisor Shelly Aldean.
The volunteers gathered as part of Graffiti Cleanup Day, the inaugural event of the Carson City Community Coalition.
The coalition's mission is to curb gang violence and spread awareness about gang activities.
"This is what the coalition is all about - community pride and awareness," said Flo Bedrosian, coalition member. "We hope this doesn't have to be an annual event but we will if that's necessary."
The event was organized using donations from Kelly Moore paint and volunteers providing their own paintbrushes and buckets or made do with what they had.
Aaron Buonacorsi used a roller on a twig to make his impact on the wall at Fairview Drive and Saliman Road.
"We are doing this to help out in the community. It's an example to other children in school. It shows them that maybe it's not uncool to come and help out," Buonacorsi said.
The event included volunteers from several area groups and organizations, including representatives from Carson and Douglas High schools.
"It's kind of fun to come and make Carson City cleaner," said Kelly Sullivan, 18. "If we don't do anything to help, the community won't be as clean."
Cameron Wells, 14, said his church inspired him to come help.
"It's good to show the community what we do as Christians and that we aren't stuck up in our church. We are out helping the community," Wells said.
The cleanup is also the first event of Carson City Pride Week. The week of activities also includes a senior junk haul, free use of the landfill to residential customers, the adopt-a-block program, removal of junked vehicles at no charge and a household hazardous waste removal program, all taking place throughout the city.
The coalition will also be organizing an informational night at area schools to provide information and warning signs of gang involvement. Those sessions will take place when schools get back in session in the fall.
"Right now, we are looking for funding, donations and supplies that will allow us to do what we need to do," said Javier Ramirez, coalition member.
• Contact reporter Jarid Shipley at email@example.com or 881-1217.