We all adore the iconic movie, “Footloose” where Kevin Bacon’s character is dating the pastor’s daughter, and the only desire of every high school student is to dance. But, through fear of debauchery, dancing is forbidden by the City Council. Their concerns were excessive drinking, drugs, sexual promiscuity, and the town as a whole going to hell in sin. After many trials and tribulations, the teens finally had their dance which was entirely sober. The concerns of the pastor and community are, in fact, a reality in our beloved little town of San Clemente. Drugs, underage drinking, and several crazy parties have been present, some even under the watchful eye of parents who choose to turn the other cheek. Community Outreach Alliance is creating a change to address just that.
Many have asked ‘why’ create the COA Music Venue? Our inspiration is to create a place where the community can gather for concerts, support meetings and speaker forums to bring awareness of critical issues as well as provide a place to live a clean and sober lifestyle. Recently, our inspirations were solidified by the actions and events that took place in another county. They too had the same vision that we do in San Clemente. In Stockholm, hundreds of dancers with sweat dripping and fists pumping, move to the DJ’s techno remix. From the outside looking in, it appeared like a normal dance party but here, there’s a strict no-alcohol policy. All drinks served are “mocktails” a nonalcoholic drink consisting of a mixture of fruit juices or other soft drinks and no one is granted entrance into Sober, without a breath test and a passing of 0.0. Mårten Andersson, founder of Sober stated that his biggest inspiration is the 1980s “straight edge,” hard-core punk subculture whose adherents refrained from using alcohol, tobacco, and drugs, sticking instead to “natural highs.” If the Stockholm community can rally together to create a craze that is beginning to sweep Europe, why can’t we start our movement right here in our backyard?
While, COA may not be as strict as “straight edge,” we 100% agree that healthy “natural highs” will be beaming from every COA event and activity. With the holidays on the horizon, our next COA Sober Dance will be a New Year’s Eve Celebration for 14-20 year old young adults. We will kick off 2015 with guests Devin and Veronica Eckhardt and beats by DJ Jules. We are entirely thankful that our little community is stepping up to help us ‘Be the Change’, to save lives, and create safe and sober activities. Everyone of you can help us make this change with COA.