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Fundraiser uses Music to Fight Bullying - KOAM TV 7

Fundraiser uses Music to Fight Bullying

Updated:
NEOSHO, MISSOURI -

The CDC says suicides across the nation grew more than 25 percent between 1999 and 2016. 

One group is working to keep children that are bullied from becoming part of that statistic.

Blanca Molinero has wanted to be a singer ever since she was little. 
Blanca Molinero, vocalist for The Less Fortunate:"I'd always tell my mom, hey mom I'm gonna be a rock star, I'm gonna be a rock star." 

Fast forward to today, and she's living her dream - being one of the vocalists for the Joplin band "The Less Fortunate." Her band is only one of ten at the second annual "Bands Against Bullying" fundraiser.

Ashley Clark, Event Organizer: "These kids are contemplating suicide because they're bullied to the point that they don't feel there's another way out and it's not fair for them to feel like that."

Chris Parks - a therapist with Restoring Hope Counseling - says the number of kids that he sees every week is alarming.

Chris Parks, Owner of Restoring Hope Counseling:"Our kids are under attack. We are weekly assessing kids for suicide lethality. We're seeing adults in the same category, but not as often."

Clark says the event truly got it's start after 12 year old Erica Smith took her own life.

Clark:"She was a sweet little girl. She loved to dance, and she had this whole life ahead of her."

Helping kids like Erica - that are bullied and struggling - is the entire reason for the event. 

Clark:"This goes out to all the kids out there that.. All the kids that we have lost, all the kids that are fighting that battle and that every day struggle with it. It's in memory of all of them."

Molinero says she's honored to play for the cause because unfortunately -she knows first hand what it can be like to fight that battle.

Molinero:"I've personally felt pushed to that point before, and I know exactly what it's like. And it's not a good place to be. It's dark, and cold and you know your just alone. There's kids that are like 9 years old.. 7, 8, 9 years old that feel that way and for them to be as young as they are, to feel that, it's just no."

Organizers hope this event will let every child that's fighting that battle know that they are not alone. 

All proceeds from the event were donated to Restoring Hope for counseling and outreach programs. 

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