continued “We are always looking for ways to attract all different types of people to our events, and Battle of the Bands seemed like a perfect way to accomplish this,” Dennee said. “Mental disorders don't discriminate so it is important that we reach out to as many different people as possible.”
In addition to the music, the event will feature speakers discussing the seriousness of mental illness and facts relating to suicide. Dennee said she hopes the money raised will help fund the launching of a community outreach program for the organization.
“The Community Outreach Program is designed to target young children, teens, and young adults. Our focus is to educate parents and children the various mental disorders that could cause a suicide, the warning signs, the possible treatments, and most importantly, that no person should ever be ashamed to live with a mental disorder or to receive the appropriate treatments,” Dennee said. “The initiative would consist of visiting schools, colleges, and hosting special events to present child appropriate educational information and materials to children and parents. Our hopes are to educate parents and children early on to promote a healthy mental state and to identify any disorders that may exist.”
If that’s not enough of a draw, don’t forget the incredible talent that will take the stage. Eighteen bands (see sidebar for groups), all of whom were chosen by three judges at auditions of more than 30 musical acts in January, will provide entertainment. Each band will have a glass fish bowl labeled with its name; $1 buys one vote. The band with the most votes in its fish bowl wins.
Dennee said the SRC Arena is an ideal location for the event.
“We are always striving to put on the best events without a crazy budget — the less we spend, the more programs we are able to offer,” she said. “The SRC Arena is the perfect venue. We have superior sound quality for the bands, enough space to hold many patrons, and a central location for people all over New York.”
SAS has a vibrant social media presence, with more than 4,600 “likes” on Facebook. Dennee has also set up virtual support groups that provide aid to people all over the world through the site. But she said she’s really looking to ramp up support for the organization through this event.
“There is something for everyone at this event,” Dennee said. “We have many genres of bands competing. We would love to see some new faces so we can show everyone what Stand Against Suicide is all about.”