Leading By Example – Building Up Our Communities Through Education
Best Drug Rehabilitation sponsors the 2015 “Music With A Mission” benefit concert in Mendon, IL
One of the biggest differences that a person in recovery makes in their lifestyle is discovered when they learn how to give back. Ask any person that has struggled with substance abuse, or has seen a loved one suffering from addiction, and a great many of them will be able to tell you. A person who is abusing drugs or alcohol knows very little about giving, but has plenty of experience with taking. So much so that, through selfishness, dishonesty and a general disregard for the feelings of others, many of their relationships have been damaged or destroyed by their addiction.
Recovery from addiction helps us to realize the damage that we have caused, and shows us ways to make amends to those that we have caused harm to. Sometimes, a relationship has been damaged so severely that it takes quite a bit of effort to mend it. And sometimes, it takes doing whatever you can, whenever you can. Which is what Best Drug Rehabilitation strives for in our commitment to helping build our communities up.
We believe that our youth is the greatest asset that we have in our country today, and that their education is the greatest tool that we have in the fight against substance abuse and addiction. For this reason, Best Drug Rehabilitation was proud to sponsor the 2015 “Music With A Mission” benefit concert held at the Adams County Fairgrounds in Mendon, IL on May 30th, 2015. This event was held to raise money to finance music education programs in the underfunded local school districts of Mendon and its neighboring town of Quincy.
Headlined by several Country-Rock performers, including Cadillac Three, Trailer Choir, Avenue Beat, Madd Hoss Jackson and Highway Run, the event raised thousands of dollars to put towards its cause. Hundreds of people came out to join in the festivities, undeterred by the muddy conditions caused by rain over the few days prior to the concert, and the show was moved indoors to the Adams County Fairgrounds Show Barn. Because of Best Drug Rehabilitation’s sponsorship, which went a long way in helping to cover the costs of holding an event like this one, a bigger portion of the proceeds from ticket sales and concessions was put towards helping to enrich the education of local kids.
Per Wickstrom, the founder and CEO of Best Drug Rehabilitation, was able to speak with the performers before the concert, discussing a variety of topics, including the issues of substance abuse in the music scene and in the world around us, as well as hearing their ideas and perspectives on recovery and what we all can do to help.
This duo consists of “Big Vinny” Hickerson and Marc “Butter” Fortney who met through a loose association of musicians while in college. They were happy playing small gigs for extra cash until, in 2006, country star Toby Keith heard them perform at a club in Nashville and brought them to his record label, which offered them a contract on the spot. Since then, Trailer Choir has been hard at work making a name for themselves.
“Big Vinny” is one of the lead organizers of “Music With A Mission”, saying that he wanted to step away from traditional methods of fundraising, such as bake sales or raffles. He starred on reality TV competition “The Biggest Loser”, a show which promotes healthy eating habits and exercise by rewarding the contestants who fought against obesity and lost the most weight. For this reason, helping others to find a healthier and more positive lifestyle is a cause very dear to his heart. “I do a lot of motivational speaking,” he shared in Trailer Choir’s interview with Per. “One of the biggest things that I talk about is you have to believe in yourself and love yourself as you are if you ever want to be something better than that.”
A trio of local high school seniors who share a passion for performing, Avenue Beat is perhaps the most effective example of the benefit of music education programs in school. Sam, Sami and Savana are three very talented young ladies who know how to rise above the negative influences of others and avoid the darker path of drugs and alcohol.
“There is always that underlying pressure of what group to hang out with,” said Sami, “but if you find the right people who won’t pressure you to do those things, it’s this really safe feeling. We’ve surrounded ourselves with people who usually make good choices and stay safe.” Savana had some advice for parents who have a child that might be beginning to experiment with drugs, saying, “It shouldn’t be about forcing them to do what you want to do, but making them see what’s bad about doing those things and how they can negatively affect you in the future.”
As their name might suggest, Cadillac Three is a trio of musicians whose Country/Southern Rock sound drives plenty fast. But they haven’t let life in the fast lane take control of the wheel. They have maintained direction and are gaining popularity swiftly because of it.
Guitarist and vocalist Jaren Johnston, who co-wrote Keith Urban’s #1 single “You Gonna Fly”, had this to say about the band’s experience with substance abuse in the music industry: “You have to be smart enough to kind of shut it down. We like to keep a tight reign on it because we travel so much. But, we’re around it quite a bit.”
Engaged couple Brandon and Alyssa make up the core of Highway Run, another rising talent in the Country-Rock music scene. As many hard working musicians must do in order to succeed in the industry, these two travel extensively and attend many social events where others sometimes make poor choices.
“Being in songwriter circles and those things,” offered Brandon, “you definitely hear about it and you see some friends that are going through that. Maybe they just got back from rehab for alcohol addiction or drug addiction. It’s definitely out there and it’s an issue that needs awareness. Parents need to talk to their kids. There needs to be communication.” Alyssa added, “It just keeps getting younger and younger and younger.”
Madd Hoss Jackson
Madd Hoss Jackson is a trio of musicians who has been performing in the Midwest for several years, playing everything from country to classic rock. They have also travelled extensively, and have been able to maintain an air of professionalism where others seem to falter.
“In this industry, sometimes it’s tough to balance everything,” said Jim Jennings, drummer and vocalist for the band. “People get to travelling, and everybody wants to party with them, and there’s a lot of temptations out there. You have to be strong to be able to stay away from it. We see that, but we’ve seen a lot of bands get torn apart because of addiction.”
These musicians, and Best Drug Rehabilitation, participated in this event for one of the best causes that we can think of – educating our youth. It is crucially important to offer them alternatives to drugs and alcohol, and to show them the potential they have in life, if we hope to properly lead them away from that dangerous and deadly path. By encouraging art, music, athletics, and academics, we strive to help shape our teens and young adults into the strong leaders we will need tomorrow. Giving back to the community is just one way that we lead by example and show our patients, and indeed everybody, just how important it is to help out wherever and whenever we can.