It’s hard to find a reason not to attend the Elks Lodge upcoming Battle of the Bands event: live music, awesome prizes, tasty snacks … and did I mention it’s all free?
For more than 100 years, the Modesto Elks Lodge has been a proud adherent of charities and community service. Its success is no surprise, considering there are more than 3,000 lodges nationwide all run under the Elks headquarters in Chicago. The Modesto Lodge is a huge supporter of veterans and youths, and recently announced its “Just Say No” Battle of the Bands under its drug awareness program.
So, how exactly is this fraternal order planning to reach out to teenagers and attract them to this drug awareness event? Says RaeLene Pritchard, past exalted ruler and current secretary for the Modesto Elks Lodge, “When we think of kids, we think of food and music. So that’s exactly what we’re doing to bring them on out.”
The event, which takes place from 4:30 to 8:30 p.m. July 27 at the lodge, 645 Charity Way, is entirely free and is centered on the “Just Say No” theme regarding drug awareness. Bands will be paid $50 for competing; the winning band also will receive $300, the second-place band $150, and third place $50. There also will be prizes for attendees who correctly answer questions concerning the adverse effects of drugs.
In addition to the Elks Lodge, the Sheriff’s Department and other law enforcement are partnering up to spread the “Just Say No” message, as are speakers who’ll voice their experiences with the dangers of alcohol.
“Our whole goal is to get a real good cross-section (of speakers) who can relate to what the harmful effects of alcohol did to their life,” Pritchard said. “And we figure if we reach one or two kids out there who don’t go down that track, then that would be really good.”
So, will this be a recurring event? “We hope so,” Pritchard said. “If it’s successful and able to reach the youth in our community, we’ll definitely keep doing it.”
To enter the battle, or for more information, call Pritchard at (209) 380-4214.
Kara Liu is a junior at Beyer High School and a member of The Bee’s Teens in the Newsroom program.