"Community Against Drugs and Violence" celebrates 20th anniversa - WAFB 9 News Baton Rouge, Louisiana News, Weather, Sports

"Community Against Drugs and Violence" celebrates 20th anniversary

Posted: Updated: July 21, 2013 09:48 PM
Community Against Drugs and Violence Community Against Drugs and Violence
CADAV CADAV
Pat LeDuff of CADAV Pat LeDuff of CADAV
BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) -

Pat LeDuff described her brother Andre's fun loving personality as she flipped through old pictures Sunday.

"He was actually in my wedding. This is probably the last picture we had together," said LeDuff.

Andre has been gone for 20 years, the victim of an accidental shooting, but his death prompted LeDuff to start Community Against Drugs and Violence. The group is aimed at fighting back and restoring peace in what, she says, was an area crippled by crime. Twenty years later, children play outside and neighbors walk the streets for exercise.

"I just enjoy working around my own flowers," said neighbor Sharon Butler.

Butler has lived in the Banks subdivision for more than 40 years but says, before CADAV, she simply did not feel safe.

"I couldn't do that because boys would be flying by with guns, running with guns-- oh my, it used to be terrible," added Butler.

Over the last 20 years, members of CADAV have been meeting at least once a month, conducting community clean-ups, parades and festivals. LeDuff admits there are still issues from time to time but says that large community pride has been restored.

"The consistency of bringing everyone together and letting each other know. And reminding each other we really do care about what happens to our children and care about our community. And we really need to get our children educated that guns do kill," said Leduff

That is a message LeDuff believes Andre would have wanted her and others to share with kids in the area, leaving behind a legacy of hope rather than just pain.

"He lives through this organization I'm sure he's smiling saying ‘you know what my death was not in vain'," said LeDuff.

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