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Drug awareness fundraiser changes beneficiary

A drug awareness benefit planned for Saturday changed its beneficiary this week, when the South Kitsap School System announced that it could not accept money that was raised by an establishment that serves alcohol.

Moondogs Too owner Daryl Baldwin had booked the bands and several speakers when he received the news from the school district. A day later he had found a new designee, when the Kitsap County Literacy Council said that it would accept these donations.

The original intent was to have an an all-day benefit on Saturday to raise both money and awareness about drug programs. In this respect the plans have not changed, although the program will replace a representative of school district with a speaker from the literacy council.

“We are hoping that people will drink responsibly,” said Moondogs Too owner Darryl Baldwin. “We’re also trying to promote the idea that parents become more aware of what their kids are doing with regards to drugs, and help them get more involved in their kids’ lives.”

The event begins at 2 p.m. with an open mike. Leon Hendrix and his band are scheduled for 7 p.m., with headliner Goldy McJohn, once of Steppenwolf, playing at 9:30.

In between, there will be speeches and a special appearance by upcoming singer Hannah Michelle Weeks during the evening.

The speakers will include representatives from the police, literacy council and other agencies, as well as local parents who will offer advice about maintaining an open channel of communication with their kids.

“We are all aware of how much drug use there is in our business,” said Glen Bui, one of the event's organizers who also plays guitar in McJohn’s band. “"But society has been good to us so we want to give back to society.”

All ages are allowed before 8 p.m.

Tickets cost $5 and Baldwin hopes to raise $1,000 in donations.

“Right now there are kids in high school and junior high who are doing stuff that we would never have dreamed of,” Baldwin said. “We want to make it possible for parents to recognize what is going on.”

Baldwin said that Moondogs and other local bars are diligent about observing the law, with regard to over-service and underage drinking.

As a result, he thinks that it is easier for local kids to get illegal drugs than liquor.

Baldwin also hopes to build parental awareness about gangs, although that is not yet a problem in South Kitsap.

“We don’t have significant gang activity down here to the degree they have in Bremerton,” Baldwin said, “so the sooner we react to the signs of gang activity the less effect it will have on us.”

Baldwin said there are a lot of local resources that deal with drug issues, but they aren’t always centralized.

He hopes such communication issues can be resolved, giving both parents and kids a clear path to the help they need.

For more information about Saturday’s event call (360) 895-2300.

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