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The sesquicentennial battle of the bands is more than a musical event

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[AUG. 22, 2003]  So far three bands have signed up to play at the "battle of the bands" in Latham Park on Saturday, Aug. 30, from 8 to 11 p.m. Participants are Vivesect, a metal band; Above Suspicion, an alternative rock band; and Membrata, a hard rock band. The sponsors hope that a few other bands will enter the battle. The kind of music a band plays is not a criterion for participating. The winner of the battle of the bands will receive $100. The band receiving the most applause from the audience will be judged the winner.

The Lincoln IGA has donated hot dogs and hot dog buns to grill on the Lincoln Police Departmentís grill. Coca-Cola will also be served.

Mothers Against Drunk Drivers and the Alcohol, Tobacco and Other Drugs Task Force hope to provide a fun-filled event for the teens, but the sponsors have a larger goal. They want to educate young people about the dangers of alcohol and drugs. Informational pamphlets will be available. Banners will be displayed saying, "No Road Kill" and "Donít Get Into a Car With People Who Have Been Drinking."

The Lincoln Police Department will visit the event frequently to provide support and security.

The people of Lincoln and Logan County are very familiar with young people suffering fatalities caused by alcohol and drug usage. A vigil was held last year to draw attention to the large number of teenage deaths occurring in the community. The question is: What can we as members of the community do to decrease these tragedies?

Kristi Lessen, a substance-abuse prevention specialist at Logan-Mason Mental Health, is a member of a group that is trying to find a solution. Lessen is the co-chair of the Alcohol, Tobacco and Other Drugs Task Force. The members of this task force, along with MADD, are actively trying to help prevent future tragedies.


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In July, Lessen approached the sesquicentennial planning committee with an idea. The task force and MADD made a request to have an alcohol-free, drug-free battle of the bands during the Lincoln Sesquicentennial. Lessen said there needed to be something for young people under age 21 to do that did not involve alcohol and drugs. The planning committee agreed.

Since the July meeting, MADD and the task force have gotten permission from the Logan County Board to use Latham Park and the parkís grandstand area for the battle of the bands. This will be the first battle of the bands the two groups have sponsored.

The Alcohol, Tobacco and Other Drugs Task Force and MADD have sponsored events in the past for Lincolnís teens. Together they sponsor an annual family fun day, which generally draws around 300 people. They also sponsor an annual bowling party.

The greatest asset the Lincoln Community has is its youth. MADD and the Alcohol, Tobacco and Other Drugs Task Force are doing something to help young people know the dangers they face and to help them to be safe.

If you would like show your support for their efforts and for our communityís young people, or if you want more information, call Kristi Lessen at 735-2272.

[Don Todd


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