Youth performers wanted


Published: Wednesday, January 2, 2013 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Monday, December 31, 2012 at 7:31 p.m.

Wanted: Young people age 21 and under to showcase their talents at the inaugural Road to Zero Block Party to encourage and inspire residents to join in the fight against HIV/AIDS, violence and drug abuse.

Facts

BLOCK PARTY

What: Youth performers are needed for inaugural Road to Zero Block Party on HIV/AIDS, violence, drug abuse.
When: 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Jan. 19.
Where: King Center, 1028 NE 14th St.
Information: Call 352-316-4023 or 305-951-2806.

Theresa White, Regional Minority AIDS coordinator at the Alachua County Health Department for Area 3/13, said the Road to Zero Block Party is being presented as part of the 2013 King Celebration in partnership with the Martin Luther King Jr. Commission of Florida Inc., the Gainesville Police Department, the city of Gainesville and other partners

The event will be held from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Jan. 19 at the King Center at 1028 NE 14th St. Free Rapid HIV/AIDS testing also will be available with same-day results.

White said young people ages 21 and under are invited to showcase their talents with the theme to reduce and eliminate HIV/AIDS, violence and drug abuse, including underage drinking. Performance categories will include, but are not limited to, gospel, hip-hop, rap, spoken word, dance and group performances.

White said performers should be prepared to demonstrate their talent. Volunteers are also needed to help with the event. "We want nice positive performances to get the message across," White said.

GPD Officer Jacques LaFrance said the focus is on HIV/AIDS, violence and drug abuse because these are issues with a high incidence among teens and young adults in our community.

"We're seeing teens having sex earlier, contracting diseases and experimenting with drugs without knowing the effects or legal ramifications," said LaFrance. "My goal is to educate people on the issues that impact our community so they can help with the movement to reduce the impact of these issues in our community."

White said those attending will receive a ticket at the door for door prizes and a chance to win an iPod Touch. There also will be food, including pizza.

White said the Road to Zero Block Party has received tremendous support from the community and businesses.

"We've never seen so much support," White said. "It's going to be huge."

For more information, call White at 352-316-4023 or LaFrance at 305-951-2806.

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