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Leaders christen neighborhood store, celebrate community
By Maria Miller
JOHNSTOWN, Pa. -- A Johnstown neighborhood came together Monday to celebrate the memory of Martin Luther King Jr. and a dream
the community shares. Neighbors also dedicated a new co-op store in Prospect that's set to open in the coming months.
"We worked real hard to get here and we still know that we have a lot of work ahead of us, but we're up to the challenge," said the Rev. James Britt, committee member for the co-op.
It's an idea that's been at least two years in the making. And while the Greater Prospect Store isn't yet open for business,
its future is already being celebrated.
"It was the idea of the community that we needed to do something to revitalize our community," said the Rev. Sylvia King, president of Greater Prospect. "The churches got together and
said, 'You know, if something is going to happen up here, we're going to make it happen. Nobody's going to come here and rescue us; we're going to have to do something for ourselves.'"
And they're on their way, already acquiring and remodeling a building along
Route 271 heading out of the city. In just a few months they hope to open the store, providing groceries, prepared food and laundry services to anyone passing by and a programs and a place to gather and employ.
Cleverly abbreviated as GPS, the hope is that the store will help shape a new direction for a community that leaders say has often carried a bad stigma.
"I believe it's going to spark some more interest and spark some inspiration in some other people that is going to want to do things up here," said Britt. "We have plenty of
land; we can do a whole lot of things. We just need to work together to do it."
Monday's dedication ceremony was filled with scripture, music and togetherness centered around the memory of Martin Luther King Jr. and a dream shared by
"This building is a symbol of hope of what can happen in any community, to any
people, if you just throw everything else aside and do it for the good of the cause," said King.