Trial run could lead to more Friday night jamborees
by Christina Whitford
Drive through Sullivan or any town in Moultrie County on a Friday or Saturday night and you are likely to run across groups of teenagers hanging out in cars, looking for ways and places where their group of friends can hang out together and have fun, most to no avail.
Being the father of teenagers, Mike Marshall is well aware of this dilemma.
“I always get the complaint from my kids that there’s nothing to do in this town for teenagers,” said Marshall.
So after repeatedly hearing the complaint, Marshall began looking into ways to give groups of teens a safe place to congregate.
A local DJ, Marshall thought about donating his time and services to give teenagers a safe environment as well as some entertainment while they relax.
So in February, Marshall began researching ideas. He started by doing a survey on Facebook to gage people’s interest in the idea. Marshall asked families and teenagers if he were to provide deejay services during an event if they would be interested in having a hang out on Friday evenings.
The response was positive.
Marshall then began speaking with several local businesses trying to locate a venue for the teens to utilize. While they expressed an enthusiasm for the idea, Marshall was not able to find a business to accommodate the teenagers.
Finally with summer coming to an end, Marshall decided to move forward with the idea on his own and hold a trial hangout at the local skate park at Wyman Park.
So from 6-9 p.m. this Friday, A-Sharp DJ Service will provide music for the teens to enjoy while they spend time with their friends.
“If the event goes well and has a good turnout, I will play music the next two Fridays in August as well,” Marshall said. "There will be other parents at the event. I also spoke with the police department, and they will be stopping through now and then. I want there presence known so everyone will be safe and have a good time."
The DJ is still looking for area businesses to stay open later or provide a facility for the teens to use during future evenings. He also hopes to have the event at a business where the teens may have food available during the evening.
“I’d like to continue the events next summer as well,” Marshall said. “This gives the kids a chance for a safe place to hang with friends, listen to music, dance if they want to or skate.”
For more information regarding the event, contact Marshall at 217-855-4064.