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MidWeek Staff

Backyard Jam Makes Kapolei High Its New Home

Rep. Sharon Har

While the legislative calendar keeps me particularly busy for the first five months of the year, it affords me the opportunity to welcome some new neighbors to West Oahu.

This year marks the first time the annual Backyard Jam was hosted in West Oahu at Kapolei High School. It’s because of its positive message and goal to integrate with the community that I would like to shine the Second City Spotlight on Backyard Jam, sponsored by the Coalition for Drug Free Hawaii.

The Feb. 24 event gave West Oahu families the chance to enjoy the free entertainment, games and to hear the positive messages that drugs will not be accepted in our community. The live entertainment included performances by Kapolei High School Taiko, Kapena, Pohaku and Touch of Gold. There also were activities for the keiki to enjoy, in addition to food trucks and fresh produce.

The message of Backyard Jam is quite simple: “Not even once” reinforces the Coalition for a Drug Free Hawaii’s goal “to reduce and prevent drug abuse in Hawaii through awareness, education and action.”

Our island keiki face many perils while growing up, including the temptation and the pressure to participate in drug use. And the statistics are startling.

Peer pressure would like our children to think that “just once” cannot hurt, but with highly addictive drugs like crystal methamphetamine, “just once” leads very quickly to addiction.

I am proud of our Kapolei High Hurricanes and, in particular, for their partnership with the Coalition for a Drug Free Hawaii and sending the message that drugs and underage drinking are not acceptable.

Education is our biggest and best defense against the influence of drug and alcohol abuse. The more we know about these substances, the more we understand the debilitating and unhealthy effects they can have on our families.

Through events like Backyard Jam, we can continue to reinforce the message to our families and kids that drugs and underage drinking are not cool and will not be tolerated in our community.

Mahalo to the Coalition for a Drug Free Hawaii, the Drug Free Coalition for Kapolei and all the many volunteers who helped make this event a success!

Contact state Rep. Sharon Har, District 42 (MakakiloKapolei) at 586-8500 or email her at rephar@capitol.hawaii.gov.

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