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Home News-Telegram News Concert, variety show to raise money for drug education

Concert, variety show to raise money for drug education

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Looking for a fun, cool way to while away a hot summer afternoon with the kids while helping an agency dedicated to educating youth so they can make good, informed choices? 


Then Hopkins County Regional Civic Center is the place to be Friday evening, July 12. The Hopkins County Music and Comedy Review, a kid-friendly evening of fun featuring talent from local music acts and variety style comedic skits, will be presented by Hopkins County D.A.R.E. and made possible by Hopkins County Sheriff’s Office. The show starts at 7 p.m., but the doors will open at 6 p.m. Seating will be first come, first served — so arrive early for choice seats inside the auditorium.

“This is a family friendly show, so there’s nothing to worry about the kids hearing or seeing. We’ve been rehearsing since May. We are excited about it,” said Hopkins County D.A.R.E. Sgt. Brad Cummings, who will be among the performers. “This will be a Branson-style variety show that’s family oriented so you don’t have to worry about bringing the kids. Some of our kids will, in fact, be in the audience, too.”

Music for the night will be provided by Monty Tipps and Main Street Band, with Craig Roberts serving as master of ceremonies. Musical entertainment will include vocal talents of Aaron Hanna, Jacoby Smith, Tissha George, Daylan Millard, Cummings, Tipps and “The C” Dale Cummings. The Cooney Brothers, along with Doc Davis, will provide their special blend of country comedy and skits, and Ronny Glossup as Cousin Cedric will also add to the hilarity with clean jokes.

Numerous donated items will also be awarded as door prizes to the first 100 people to enter the auditorium. There will also be a silent auction for big ticket items such as trip packages to out-of-town activities. One Fort Worth package includes tickets to Billy Bob’s Texas and a stay at the Hilton in Fort Worth. There are several zoo trips, including one with Dallas Zoo tickets. A Dallas trip includes entry to a Rangers game, Six Flags and Medieval Times. One package includes entry to the indoor water park at Great Wolfe Lodge. A San Antonio trip includes zoo tickets, entry to the Alamo, IMAX theater tickets complete with refreshments, complementary parking passes, entry for two to an Old West Town featuring replicas and actors in Boerne (located just outside of San Antonio). A Galveston trip includes passes to a railroad museum, Schlitterbahn and Ocean Star Offshore Drilling Museum. Several local motels have also donated two nights stays, which event planners will likely pair with local meal and activities discounts or vouchers. Splash Kingdom in Canton has also donated tickets. Both the 24-Hour Gym and Anytime Fitness have donated one-year memberships.

Tickets are available at Hopkins County Sheriff’s Office, the Civic Center office or at the door the night of the show, for $10 for everyone age 13 or older, $5 for children ages six to 12 years, and free for kids 5 years old or younger. Also, as a special bonus fifth graders who wear a D.A.R.E. T-shirt will be admitted free of charge.

“Any fifth grader who wears their D.A.R.E. shirt gets in free, not just those from the six county schools. If there’s a family staying at a local hotel that day and they have a fifth grader, that student can wear his or her D.A.R.E. T-shirt and get in free,” Cummings added. 

Concessions will be available at a low cost thanks to Atwoods, GSC, Brookshire’s and Cash Saver.

“Nothing will cost more money than $2 — that’ll be for dogs and nachos. The rest will be $1 or less. We’ll also have candy and sodas. Atwoods provided popsicles, which will probably be about 25-50-cents each,” Cummings noted. “We want to make it affordable and something for the whole family.

“We all have kids. I have three kids plus my wife. So, I know that adds up quick. We tried to keep it as reasonable as we can without spending a fortune,” he added.

Thanks to generous donations from local businesses and the community, all proceeds from the Friday event will go to Hopkins County D.A.R.E. program, to help with costs of holding the D.A.R.E. classes taught at the six Hopkins County schools by Cummings.

Among the event sponsors are All State, City National Bank, Winburn Milk Co., Brian Toliver Ford-Lincoln, The Pawn Shop, Freedom Realty, Kwast Cleaners, Hammond Mobile Homes, Anytime Fitness, Larah Roberts Web Designer, Farm Country, 24-Hour Gym, Guaranty Bond Bank, ABC Autoplex, American Standard Heating & Air Conditioning, Grocery Supply, Advantage Copy Systems, Farmers Electric Cooperative, Reeds Scrap Metal, McMahan Automotive, Cumby Telephone Cooperative, Atwoods, Interstate Body Shop, Brookshire’s, Alliance Bank and Cash Saver.

The program is offered through HCSO, but funded exclusively through fundraisers and donations.

“We are not doing our usual fundraisers —  like bowling and the golf ball drop during the Dairy Festival — this year,” Cummings noted. “D.A.R.E. program is world-wide, but all money raise here for our D.A.R.E. goes to our local kids; it stays in our county. People donate to D.A.R.E. to help the program continue so that it’s less likely it will be cut. Citizens fund it. It’s not from the sheriff’s office budget.”

D.A.R.E. funds are used to purchase T-shirts, graduation certificates and lapel pins for fifth graders in the six county school who participate in the D.A.R.E. program. Pencils, stickers and activity coloring books and other small items are obtained to distribute to community children during functions such as Kids Safe Saturday.

It also helps pay for the D.A.R.E. officer to attend national and state trainings, where he learns about new curriculum and networks with other officers. 

Last year, a new curriculum was adopted which incorporated more health-related topics than just the effects of alcohol, tobacco and drugs on the body. The curriculum now also includes a section on positive ways to deal with stress.

“We discuss why negative choices are negative, the benefits of being an effective listener and having better communications skills. I always include bullying. Now, there are more details; it’s a core lesson that talks about the benefits of knowing who your friends are and surrounding yourself with good influences,” Cummings said.

He acknowledged that as is often the case with positive programs, he has faced some criticism over whether or not the program is effective. He said D.A.R.E. emphasizes the importance of and serves as a positive influence for students, and strives to make students more comfortable around law enforcement and better able to communicate with an officer should a need arise.

Cummings said the D.A.R.E. program is like a set of vehicle keys. When used, keys allow you to go in a car. Like keys, D.A.R.E. provides information for positive decisions, but it’s up to the kids to use that information. 

“D.A.R.E. is a foundation and blueprint to follow,” he said. “It’s a tool for the toolbox. Say I give you a hammer. You are building a house. The hammer isn’t going to do the work. You have to use it. Some kids have already been exposed to things. I always tell them that bad decisions don’t make bad people. We all make mistakes. If you turn left and find a dead end, turn around and go right.”

When funds allow, the program also awards D.A.R.E. scholarships.

“We’ve awarded three since last year — $3,500 in scholarships. Eligibility is open to any graduating student in the six rural schools. They have to be seeking a career in law enforcement or education. It can be in any field of those — a coach, an attorney, probation officer, anything  in law and education,” Cummings said. “They can teach zoology at a zoo or be an officer — anything as long as it ties back to education and law enforcement.”




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