Healthy Living: Local News
April celebrates 'clean, clear living in Homer'
Story Updated: Apr 6, 2011
When the residents of one Yukon village realized numerous infants were being born with fetal alcohol spectrum disorders that can occur in an individual whose mother drank alcohol during pregnancy, they formed a wall of solidarity.
"The whole community took a compassionate approach and made a nine-month pledge of sobriety to support young mothers," said Rachel Romberg, youth and family advocate for South Peninsula Haven House.
Inspired by that example, Homer residents have banded together to create "One Love One Day," designating April as a month to focus on being alcohol- and drug-free. On each Friday during April, activities are planned for all ages to enjoy. The public also is being offered an invitation to take a one-day sobriety pledge.
"The idea behind One Love One Day is that folks in recovery are living one day at a time, trying to make the commitment not to use," said Romberg. "So, on April 29, we're asking community members in Homer to make that commitment and stand in solidarity with folks trying not to use. It's just one day."
Haven House is one of the businesses and organizations sponsoring One Love One Day. Others include the Los Holy Santos Gang, Cornish Music, Fireweed Gallery, Homer Council on the Arts and Homer Theatre.
"'Celebrating clean and clear living in Homer' is about as close to a mission statement as we've got," said Paul Story, a counselor-interventionist at Homer High, Voznesenka, Razdolna and Kachemak Selo schools who is part of the loosely formed committee organizing One Love One Day.
Kicking off the month, several local art galleries are holding alcohol-free First Friday receptions this Friday. Among them is Fireweed Gallery, owned by Irene Randolph. The gallery is taking it one more step and on April 1 and April 29 will offer a 10 percent discount to anyone who signs the One Day One Love sobriety pledge.
"Either of those days, we'll give 10 percent off anything they want in the gallery," said Randolph. "It's just a little thank-you for supporting this worthwhile endeavor." A concert at Homer Theatre on Friday also helps set the tone for the month. Held from 8:30-11 p.m., the two-band concert opens with Ascent, comprised of high school students Leo Cooper, Trenton Chesser and Dylan Williams.
"They're going to cover a few songs I'd describe as hard rock or heavy metal," said Story. "This is kind of their debut. It's good to have a youth band." Ascent will be followed by the Los Holy Santos Gang, with Rudy Multz on rhythm guitar, Steve Collins on lead guitar, Dylan Smith on bass and Lucius Oliver on drums.
"I've worked with Paul Story at Homer High School a little bit and he heard around town that we were a band that attracted a good crowd and wanted to play to the largest population possible," said Multz of the band that frequently plays in bars. "We haven't ever played at the Homer Theatre, so we're excited about having a show there and really jazzed about being able to play for younger people or people that don't necessarily go to the bars for whatever reason. We want to attract a bigger crowd and expand our horizons a little bit."
Formed in 2008, the Los Holy Santos Gang is known for its "frontier rock" sound. "That's our own rendering of what it is we play," said Multz. "It's kind of an Americana style. We play lots of different types of music, different beats. We're pretty eclectic." Other activities during April include a three-on-three basketball tournament, an open mic featuring local talent, a 24-hour drama slam, the Jubilee Youth Arts Performance, a bonfire and the Safe Kids Fair and bike rodeo. The events are created to be interesting to all ages.
"This is for everybody," said Romberg. "If your kids are going to the concert, we encourage you to come in and participate for awhile. If you're dropping your kids off to play in the basketball tourney, come in yourself. We're trying to support mixing of ages."
Story agreed the activities are meant for a wide age range with a simple focus. "It's cool to have as many people involved as possible," said Story. "It's also designed to recognize that it's just one day at a time and that's how some people need to approach it. ... We don't have to start huge and say we'll change the world. We'll do one day and we'll all do it together."
For more information on One Day One Love, visit us on Facebook.