Virginia Golden, chief executive officer of St. Peter’s and Albany Memorial hospitals, on Tuesday announced a donation of $10,000 from the staff at St. Peter’s Health Partners (SPHP) to this year’s Gifts for Guns program, led by the Albany County District Attorney.
The donation was made in honor of the memory of Terrance “Deke” Roberts, a colleague at Albany Memorial Hospital who was murdered in June with an illegal handgun in downtown Albany.
Deke, who was only 46-years-old, was shot and killed on Father’s Day, after intervening to stop an argument at an annual neighborhood cookout that he helped to organize.
Albany County District Attorney P. David Soares said Tuesday that SPHP’s support and corporate responsibility puts the 2017 Gifts for Guns Buy Back Program on track to take more guns out of our communities than ever before.
Along with the $10,000 donation from SPHP, Albany County Sheriff Craig Apple donated $4,000 and the Capital Gun Group contributed $3,000. Together, the $17,000 will help to remove 125 illegal guns from the streets of Albany and Troy.
“Illegal guns have no place in our community. That is why we are proud to support this year’s Gifts for Guns program, led by the Albany County District Attorney,” Golden said. “Every illegal gun removed from the Capital Region represents a step forward in reducing the potential for gun violence in our community. We want to make sure we are doing our part to help realize this vision of a community without illegal guns. We also hope our involvement and support will inspire other organizations and businesses to get involved, and get their employees involved.”
“The compassion and desire for healthier communities displayed by St. Peter’s Health Partners, the Sheriff, and Capital Gun Group should be a call to action for others looking to make a difference, ” Soares said. “As we have witnessed over and over again in our country, no one is immune from gun violence. However, when we all stand together to remove these illegal guns from our communities, we are all are doing our part to prevent these tragedies from occurring.”
Beginning December 1, individuals in Albany County looking to exchange illegal guns for $150 gift cards to Crossgates Mall can reach out to Pastor Charlie Muller, of Victory Church, at 519-434-6100.
Individuals in Rensselaer County can visit the Victorious Life Church at 1838 5th Avenue in Troy, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on the first four Saturdays in December, to exchange illegal guns for $150 gift cards to Crossgates Mall.
To support the program this year, SPHP collected Crossgates gift cards, and money to purchase Crossgates gift cards, from our colleagues throughout the system. The collection ran for four weeks in October and November.
Since its start in 2008, the Gifts for Guns program has taken more than 650 guns out of the Capital Region community.
The ENOUGH Gun Buy Back program was created by the Office of the Albany County District Attorney in partnership with Pastor Charlie Muller after a young girl named Kathina Thomas was shot and killed on May 29, 2008, by a bullet intended for someone else.
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