Help crush bad influences

Published 11:56 pm Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Domenick Epps wants to help youth in Suffolk crush what is holding them back.

“It’s one of those things that God gave me,” he said.

About a year ago, Epps, a local volunteer with troubled youth in the city, had a dream about doing an event that would inspire young people to leave behind the things that are holding them back.

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He is now making that dream into a reality.

CRUSH Music Festival will be held April 17 at the Suffolk National Guard Armory. The free event will feature musical groups and other entertainment to draw young people in.

The centerpiece of the program, however, will be the trashcan.

The trashcan, Epps said, is designed to help people “crush” the things that are holding them back. Young people will be encouraged to bring whatever is preventing them from experiencing change — whether it is secular CDs, pictures of ex-girlfriends, gang paraphernalia, bad report cards or anything else that is preventing their success.

“Whatever was holding them back, they can throw it in this big barrel as a sign of being set free from it,” Epps said.

However, Epps needs sponsors to help make the program a success. He estimates it will take about $9,000 — or $6,000, without a major artist — to present the program.

“Your support will allow us to put on this event in such a way that the youth will be looking forward to it,” Epps said. He is looking for people who will be able to make a tax-deductible contribution, or help by donating their time, services and resources.

“Someone in Suffolk may own a sound business,” Epps said. “They may donate their time and their equipment. It doesn’t have to be all financial.”

Epps needs a sound system and sound technician, lights and controls, projectors, screens, backdrops and food and beverages for musicians and volunteers. Donated money can go to pay for musicians’ appearances, flyers, posters, radio commercials and security officers required by the venue. Businesses that can’t afford a more expensive sponsorship can place an advertisement in the program for $10 to $125.

“This is something I see going nationwide,” he said.

For more information on the event or a sponsorship, call Epps at 407-4233.