The menu of civic concerns for Danville and Vermilion County is deep and diverse. Violence. Declining population. Economic instability. Strains in the public education system. A public health crisis. Each poses challenges that require energy, insight, vision and commitment.

Problems such as these also require leadership. Rather than focus on troubling issues, let’s focus today on some of those among us who are giving of themselves, providing leadership, and trying and make the community a better place.

The spotlight should shine brightly on the Three Kings of Peace, an organization in existence for more than a decade that promotes peace and nonviolence. It is continuing to set a positive example of how to confront the daunting issues around us.

The Three Kings of Peace is currently made up of Frank McCullough, Ed Butler, Jerry Hawker and its board of directors. The group made news recently with its acquisition of the former Steel Grip building adjacent to Garfield Park.

The plans for the building are interesting and admirable. The group wants to develop a curriculum that will promote learning by combining instruction, job skills and community service. That’s a strong formula for success because it includes lessons based on science, technology, engineering and math.

The group will equip its educational space with technology and other trappings that promote learning. But there will be time for fun and socializing as well.

Perhaps the most encouraging part of the plan is that the group is receiving strong support through a partnership with Danville School District 118 and continuing support from Danville Area Community College and Peer Court.

In addition to the educational offerings, Three Kings will make personal connections with the youth who participate and offer personal mentorship and life-coping skills.

The group is developing a plan to fund the center that includes both private and public support. It deserves an ample infusion of funds from both.

The Three Kings of Peace have been serving the community for a long time. But it’s clear from this latest effort that its members are far from finished.

The group’s passion for helping the community is boundless, and they are to be commended for their efforts. We hope their work serves as an inspiration for others.

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