By Belinda M. Paschal
PIQUA — Using music as a platform, Jonathan Roman hopes to not only raise awareness about drug addiction, but change the way drug addicts are viewed and treated.
“There is no place in Miami County that we are aware of that takes in addicts off the street to get them sober without them being in legal trouble first,” said Roman, CEO of Troy-based indie label Alliance Records. “That needs to change. We want to see that change take place.”
To that end, Roman, along with friends and business associates Carlos Thomason, Mike Steele and Sam Werling, came up with the idea to present a daylong rap and rock festival to both entertain and educate the public about addiction and those who suffer from it, from the addicts themselves to their family and friends.
Stand Against Addiction, an all-ages event, will take place from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. in Hance Pavilion at Piqua’s Fountain Park. A host of local artists are slated to perform, including rockers Vital Stomp and up-and-coming rapper J-NiBB, both hailing from Piqua. Several Troy musicians are in the lineup, as well as performers from other parts of the state and Kentucky, Roman said.
In addition to live entertainment, Stand Against Addiction will feature a three-point basketball shootout, a memorial ribbon station, food and beverage stations, and raffles. Representatives from the Miami County Recovery Council also will be on hand to distribute information about their services.
The event has been a labor of love for Roman and his crew, who held a fundraiser in July to help finance the festival.
“We raised over $700 in donations and with people buying our Awareness ribbons,” Roman said, thanking the event’s sponsors, local news media and businesses including Fricker’s, Meijer and Walmart, as well as “everyone who has donated to the cause, and the Alliance Record Street Team, who have worked their tails off to make this dream a success.”
Roman hopes for a good turnout, not just because of the music, but because of the event’s message. “We anticipate people who are just as passionate as us in making a change in our community. We have high hopes for this and we need all of the community to back us,” he said.
“We started this as an idea. Now it is a movement. If we can make a change, then anyone can. If we stand together, we can make a difference in our worlds. I want people to let that sink in: together, we can truly make a better tomorrow for everyone.”
Belinda M. Paschal can be reached at (937) 773-2721 or on Twitter @TheDailyCall.