Categories: Community OutreachEvents

Leading By Example – Building Up Our Communities Through Education

Recovery from addiction helps us to realize the damage that we have created and shows us ways to make amends to those that we have caused harm. 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 building up our communities.

Learning How to Give Back by Building Up Our Communities

One of the most significant 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.

We believe that our youth is the most fabulous asset that we have in our country today and that their education is the most significant tool that we have in the fight against substance abuse and addiction. As a way of building up our communities, 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 before 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 more significant portion of the proceeds from ticket sales and concessions was put towards helping to enrich the education of local kids by building up our communities.

Per Wickstrom, the founder, and CEO of Best Drug Rehabilitation was able to speak with the performers before the concert. They discussed a variety of topics, including the issues of substance abuse in the music scene and the world around us, as well as hearing their ideas and perspectives on recovery and what we all can do to help.

Music with a Mission and Trailer Choir

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. Music is his way of building up our communities. “Big Vinny” 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.”

Avenue Beat

A trio of local high school seniors who share a passion for performing, Avenue Beat is perhaps the most useful 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 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.”

Cadillac Three

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.”

Highway Run

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 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 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 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 have been performing in the Midwest for several years, playing everything from country to classic rock. They have also traveled 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 travel, 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.”

Giving Back and Building Up Our Communities

These musicians and Best Drug Rehabilitation participated in this event for one of the best causes that we can think of – educating our youth while building up our communities. 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 lead them away from that dangerous and deadly path properly. 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 by building up our communities is just one way that we lead by example and show our patients, and indeed everybody, just how vital it is to help out wherever and whenever we can.

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View Comments (6)

  • I absolutely love that people can come together and can use a very publicly accepted form of inspiration, such as music, athletics, are or even academics to educate the youth and young adults on addiction and how it impacts them. I also love that a rehab program is working to give back to a community and help people in more ways than just using their program. I feel that community involvement is a great thing for any group to have.

  • This is great because I feel like entertainers have a big responsibility to show a good example to young people. As long as they make drugs and alcohol seem cool, the parents have a hard time explaining that it is in fact a destructive lifestyle.

  • What a great event! It is definitely a good way in order to get the word out to the younger people on the bad effects of using drugs As parents and teachers, etc we always promote this message but I remember when I was young, I really didn't want to listen to what the 'man" had to say but if the bands I was listening to were getting the word out, then that's what we all agreed with. Good for guys and keep up the good work!

  • These are the kind of people that deserve the attention of the media. They are out there working to make a difference in the community with one of the greatest avenues possible. People listen to celebrities and i think that these wonderful musicians should be more broadly known for what they are doing. It is inspiring to see them making this such an important impact on their environment especially since we all to often hear about the bad side of the touring/music scene. I also think it is really cool that all of these people are very down to earth and not caught up in themselves, and are willing to do a concert like this.

    This is very inspiring.

  • The number of musicians that are collaborating with rehab programs to provide education and service is outstanding. Awareness is so important, and it's great that events like "Musician with a Mission" exist to educate so many younger people that are easily influenced by pop icons and people in the media to experiment with drugs. Education of the issues is critical, so finding an appropriate medium to reach out to various audiences is vital.

  • This article is true in that a lot of the time that a person is going down in life, they are so used to taking everything, including stealing, and that they are not used to giving. Giving gets them apart of the group again where as just constantly taking makes them less and less apart of the group.
    This sponsoring that Best Drug Rehabilitation did was great as they were helping the people that were underprivileged so to speak and are the ones that are normally put in the position of being addicted to drugs.
    It is interesting how they put the funds towards children’s education but that puts them behind their word of the youth being our greatest asset, which it is as the children of today make the future of tomorrow.
    I like what Sami says about not forcing your kids in what you want them to do but you make them see what's bad about it. This is actually the most positive way to control a person, to let them control themselves but giving them the information so they can evaluate and make their own decisions for the better in their life.
    Madd Hoss Jackson was right, in life you will be tempted by many things, it takes your own determination to say “No” as you know it’s not the right thing and to stick by that no.
    The musicians giving back to community and helping is great. It is also a very positive influence on what they are trying to accomplish.

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