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Norwich — The Greater Norwich Area Anti-Bullying Coalition will celebrate World Youth Day today 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, multi-cultural 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 tonight.
The Rotary Community Corps. of Norwich, a branch of Norwich Rotary, has agreed to construct the benches.
Bully Busters are trying to raise $3,000 on the crowd-sourced fundraising website www.gofundme.com 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 develop friendships.
For more information about World Youth Day or the friendship benches, contact Kievits at (860) 373-8630.