Founder of Englewood mom peacekeeping group opens pizza restaurant in Beverly to raise money for school, playground

CHICAGO (WLS) -- One of the founders of Mothers Against Senseless Killings, or MASK, which aims to reduce violence in Englewood by being present on the corner of 75th and Stewart throughout the summer, opened a pizza restaurant in Beverly Wednesday night.

There were big lines for the opening on the Far South Side, but the restaurant is more than just a neighborhood pizza joint; there's purpose behind this pie.

Music, food and a festive atmosphere surrounded the crowd that gathered for the ribbon cutting.

Tamar Manasseh is not deterred by the violence that killed two young mothers on her Englewood corner Friday evening. Peace of Pizza will help fund MASK, which is also opening a school and playground on the corner.

"How do we lift everybody up?" Manasseh said. "That's what this is about."

The grand opening drew a large crowd to Beverly. It's far removed from the violence in Englewood, but neighbors here are very aware of the purpose.

"It's heartbreaking, but hopefully those mothers are smiling down," said Krystal Jenkins, neighbor.

Andrea Stoudemire and Chantell Grant were on the Englewood corner Friday evening when a gunman in an SUV down the street opened fire, killing the women and injuring two men. Police believe one of the men may have been the shooter's target.

It's been a tough week for Manasseh, but she remains committed.

"I think everybody's been following the news and I think everybody wants to do something to fix all of that," she said.

While proceeds from the pizza business will go to help fund development on the corner, MASK continues to raise reward money to help find Stoudemire and Grant's killer.

For more information, visit the restaurant's website.
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