SIDNEY — Rock the Difference is returning to the Shelby County Fairgrounds. Rock the Difference, which will be held on May 6, 2017, is a benefit to spread the word about heroin and to lend some support to agencies aiding those in the grips of heroin addiction.
Rock the Difference was first held in 2016 and was organized by Aaron Frohna, a local musician.
“Initially, I began the project because of personal reasons, having had both family and many friends affected by the use of opioids. I thought the best solution was to bring heroin into a different light. By having all walks of life put their own spin on why this is such a dangerous and often fatal drug, I thought the more people we could educate. My hope is others can live an alternative lifestyle drug-free and make a difference in our communities,” said Frohna.
Beginning with his connections in the local community of musicians, Frohna started a dialog about the rise of heroin use and its effects. He found that many of his colleagues had similar concerns and were willing to help Frohna get this message out to the people in the area.
“Having done many fund raisers in the past, anything from raising funds for the Christopher Reeve foundation to cancer research, I used those experiences to put together a very time sensitive itinerary which will feature local artists and professional speakers from many different angles that are also very familiar with the opioid epidemic,” said Frohna.
Every performer and speaker has volunteered their time to help speak to the heroin addiction that has swept Ohio. This allows more money to be funneled into the facilities who deal with heroin addiction every day.
“All proceeds will be going to help those in recovery via Shelby House/Miami House recovery homes and Community Housing of Darke, Miami & Shelby counties” said Frohna.
The event has struck such a chord that there have been more bands who volunteered than there was time to schedule them. Frohna has said he will consider them for next year’s event.
Frohna was pleased with last year’s festival.
“We had a great deal of success raising funds for those in recovery. Many people were very touched by the event and, I like to think that some made a change in their lives. We are hoping more people see the program this year in a positive manner. I’m excited to see how many more people will take part in the event this year, since more people every day are affected by the results of opioid addiction,” said Frohna.
The 2017 Rock the Difference will follow the same basic layout as 2016 with just a few adjustments.
“This year I wanted it to be even more of a family setting. Last year’s was as well, but I’ve added face painting for the kids and possibly some games if anyone would like to donate those items. Also, there has been mention of a poker run for the event, but I do not have all the details on that yet,” said Frohna.
The event will be held at Shelby County Fairgrounds in the tan building next to Highland Street. Rock the Difference will be held May 6 from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. For a list of performers and speakers, see the Facebook page at www.facebook.com/rockthedifference. You can also find out information on donations to the event
Admission is $5 with free parking. Children under 12 are free.
“It’s getting very hard to find someone that has not been affected in someway by heroin use. It’s time to take a stand,” said Frohna.
The writer is a regular contributor to the Sidney Daily News.