Members of one York County group are hoping that buckets, pots and pans can help curb gun violence in the city, and they're inviting residents to contribute to the effort on New Year's Eve.

The York County Youth Development Center's Junkyard Drumming Team will offer a half-hour "Beats For Bullets" performance Monday night on Continental Square to raise money for a gun buyback program, according to Anthony Zorbaugh, a community outreach case manager at the center.

The buyback program, run through the York City Police Department, uses donated money to buy and dispose of old guns.

"We want to be able to generate money by showcasing our kids and their talents," Zorbaugh said. "These kids are musically extremely gifted, and I think they'll shock a lot of people."

The group, including about 40 young people 11 to 18 years old, will perform 6:15 to 6:45 p.m. as part of the city's New Year's Revolution celebration, drumming on buckets and other nontraditional instruments, Zorbaugh said. Members will be available through 9 p.m. to talk about the performance and to accept donations, he said.

The project, which teaches performance in the vein of the musical "Stomp," started in 2010, Zorbaugh said. Members performed in the recent St. Patrick's Day and Halloween parades in York, and were well-received.

This time, the drumming team will partner with city police.


Advertisement

"We hope the community will support this fundraising drive and join our youth in saying 'enough is enough' to gun violence," Rodney Wagner, director of the Youth Development Center, said in a news release. "Every illegal gun off the street is one less gun that can harm or kill someone."

New Year's Revolution will be 6 p.m. Monday to 12:15 a.m. Tuesday and will feature entertainment including music, children's games and the dropping of the white rose. There also will be a fireworks finale.

The annual New Year's event was in doubt in recent months, but after a $20,000 donation from Sprint, city officials announced in early December it would go on.

Zorbaugh said the drumming group hopes to raise enough money to get matching gifts from businesses such as Finish Line and Foot Locker. To receive donations of old guns, he said, police must offer something in return that young people want, such as gift cards for sneakers.

There's been plenty of interest from performers since the program started at the youth development center, which provides shelter to county children, Zorbaugh said. Now, it's a matter of taking the music to a wider audience and hoping that the message this time -- proper disposal of old and unneeded guns -- will come through.

"We want to get out there and do something positive," he said. "I don't think we're showcasing our talented young people enough these days. That's what we want to do."

@timstonesifer; 771-2032