Drug Prevention Campaign Receives National Support

| From
McAlester Chamber of Commerce

MCALESTER, Okla. (SEND2PRESS NEWSWIRE) -- The word to describe the Take McAlester Back events is inspiring. The group kicked of their official campaign Saturday morning on Choctaw Avenue. Take McAlester Back is a grassroots movement to get drugs out and arts in, all throughout Southeastern Oklahoma.

The rain held off long enough for the 10k race to occur in the morning. The 10k race was followed by a drug-free pledge where young and old alike were able to make the commitment to live a drug-free life and commemorate Red Ribbon Week, the oldest and largest drug prevention campaign of the year. That night, the Masonic Temple opened up their one-of-a-kind Scottish Rites Auditorium for a benefit concert featuring talent from all ages and walks of life. This wide variety of people took part to raise money to restore the Okla Theatre in McAlester.

The talent ranged from newcomers Camille and Haley Harris, who played their original song "Wake Up Your City" to McAlester's favorite fiddle player and 2007 Oklahoma State Fiddle Champion in the Open Division, Michael Ginsburg. The first lady of country fiddle, Jana Jae, led the way by playing her classical and fiddle favorites. Host Comedian of the Comedy Store in Hollywood and Tonight Show regular, Argus Hamilton hosted the night's events.

The concert also featured Jana Jae's band Hotwire, U.K. artist Barbie Riley Wiggins, and Sandra and Robyn Coleman.

Even McAlester's own Mayor, Kevin Priddle, took part in the events by playing with Ms. Jae throughout the evening.

The message was simple: the city was ready to take their community back from drugs and replace the pain of substance abuse with the joy of creating through the arts. The city intends to do this by implementing a variety of programs that foster creativity in youth and adults alike.

To open the event, the group unveiled a video by the Office of the National Drug Control Policy with a message to the city of McAlester from its Director, the United States Drug Czar Gil Kerlikowske. In the video Kerlikowske mentions the Take McAlester Campaign as a cornerstone movement that will be recognized and supported at the nationwide level.

Mayor of McAlester, Kevin Priddle explained that yesterday's event was just the beginning for the group who now has up to 30 local sponsors including the founding sponsors: the McAlester Chamber of Commerce; Pride In McAlester; McAlester Main Street; and Narconon Arrowhead.

"Inside every one of these children and adults is a talent that we don't know," added Priddle. "All we have to do is give them a little help, a little encouragement, a little inspiration and you'll be amazed at what happens."

The group's next project will be establishing a Southeast Arts center where kids and adults will be able to take part in arts, music, drama, and a variety of programs that promote creativity.

For more information on Take McAlester Back log onto .

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REFERENCES: McAlester Chamber of Commerce, Narconon Arrowhead, Narconon Arrowhead, get drugs out and arts in, Take McAlester Back, Camille and Haley Harris, Jana Jae's band Hotwire, UK artist Barbie Riley Wiggins, and Sandra and Robyn Coleman, Office of the National Drug Control Policy, McAlester Chamber of Commerce, Narconon, Arrowhead, Pride In McAlester, McAlester Main Street, news, press release from Take McAlester Back, Oct 25, 2010, Regional Events, Events, , McAlester, Oklahoma, Drug Prevention Campaign Receives National Support