If teenagers were asked to list the things they like best, chances are fast food and concerts would be near the top of most lists.
Hardee's and United Concerts recognize that and are joining the anti-drug campaign with a pledge program that will provide discounts on the price of food items and tickets to selected concerts through August. The pledge-card stubs will also be used in prize drawings.As part of the program, drug-abuse counselors will be on hand at designated concerts for private consultation by anyone who feels he - or someone close to him - has a drug problem.
The program was initiated for the March 14 RATT concert at the Salt Palace, according to Ed McKay, promoter for the new drug-free campaign. Participants received a $2 discount on concert tickets. The discount will apply to different food items each month.
"It's important to us that we offer more than just lip service when it comes to the problem of drugs," said Jim McNeil, owner of United Concerts. "Young people, for the most part, make the right choices when it comes to not using drugs. We just want to help support them for pledging to not use drugs."
McKay said that 5,000 of the discount cards were distributed at the RATT concert and an additional 1,000 were given out before the concert.
"Our intention is to include students throughout the summer to get the program going," McKay said. "We have a small group of students representing area high schools and we try meet with them in our planning. And I hope we can use different people to appeal to different peer groups."
An anti-drug message was part of the RATT concert, and McKay said he would like to see other groups promote the no-drugs philosophy.
"I went to the concert, and a lot of kids were pulled out before they even got in the door - they were in a very bad way," he said. "The officers explained that they would call the parents, but gave the youths the option of talking to the counselors while they waited. I was surprised - and encouraged - by how many opted to do that."
McKay said he hopes the program will grow to include more drawings and discounts and maybe even personal visits to schools by entertainers and dignitaries.