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ANTI-GANG GROUP GETS $30,000 GRANT

A community group formed four years go by parents concerned about gang activity was given a $30,000 grant from the state Friday.

The money, part of $101,000 in grants made this year through the Gang Suppression and Community Coordination Program, will help families whose children have become involved in gangs.It will allow the Mobilize Against Gang Violence in Communities project to add a toll-free number for its 24-hour crisis hotline, so parents and youths throughout Utah can get counseling. MAGIC has a new office at West Valley City Hall.

Stacie Parker, executive director of MAGIC, said she was one of those parents helped by the group when her son was involved with gangs.

"MAGIC gave me the energy and ability to deal with a problem that was attacking my whole family," said Parker. "I was able to talk to other people who knew what I was going through. The success of my son is due to the fact that MAGIC would not let me give up on him."

Parker's son is now married with an infant daughter and employed in Las Vegas.

The funding also will pay for more parent education and support groups in Utah, Weber and Tooele counties.

Gov. Mike Leavitt gave the grant to the group on Friday.