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About 7,000 people are expected to join hands in a show of unity along the length of East Ferry and West Ferry streets at 11 a.m. May 17, rain or shine, for the first Hands Across Buffalo.

Inspired by Hands Across America, in which millions of people linked hands from coast to coast in 1986, the event will celebrate ethnic diversity and raise awareness about poverty.

Sponsored by First Niagara Bank and more than 80 other businesses, organizations and civic leaders, it will be followed by community workshops and presentations across the city. For information and to register, visit www.HandsAcrossBuffalo.com.