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Norwich – The Greater Norwich Area Anti-Bullying Coalition will celebrate World Youth Day Friday with a multicultural celebration from 5 to 9 p.m. in the upper level of the Broadway parking deck across from City Hall.
The event is free and open to the public and will feature food, live music, multicultural performances by youth groups, poetry and art.
The event also will showcase a related effort by the Bully Busters group to raise money and support for a project to build and paint “Bully Buster Buddy Friendship Benches” for each Norwich elementary and middle school.
The group has partnered with local artist Faith Wibberly – who painted the wall outside the Spirit of Broadway Theater last summer – to paint the first bench on Friday.
The Rotary Community Corps. of Norwich, a branch of Norwich Rotary, has agreed to construct the benches.
Bully Busters is trying to raise $3,000 on a crowd-sourced fundraising website for the effort.
Bully Busters coordinator Debbie Kievits said the idea is to place the friendship benches in a spot at each school where students can sit and talk, meet new students and start friendships.
For information about World Youth Day or the friendship benches, contact Kievits at (860) 373-8630.