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February 27, 2012


February 27, 2012


Michelle Vernuccio

Partnership for a Drug-Free NJ

Phone: 973-467-2100, ext. 24

E-mail: michelle@drugfreenj.org




Hudson County High School Student Advances to Finals at the

2012 New Jersey Shout Down Drugs Prevention Concert

MILLBURN─The votes are in! The Partnership for a Drug-Free New Jersey (PDFNJ) announced today, the winner of the Online Voting People’s Choice Finalist for this year’s New Jersey Shout Down Drugs music competition.  Luis Rolo, of Hudson County, garnered the most support, collecting 10,644 votes out of a record number of 55 entries received. The Union City High School student will advance to the finals at the May 24th Annual Prevention Concert, held at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center (NJPAC), where Rolo will perform his original prevention song, “Drown in Drugs”and compete for one of three music contracts worth $5,000, $3,000 and $2,000.  The remaining finalists, representing each of the 18 participating counties, will be chosen by a panel of judges, and announced on www.shoutdowndrugs.com on March 1.

This is the second year that the public had the opportunity to vote for a finalist from all the entries that were submitted from all corners of New Jersey, containing a wide range of music genres.  “In only a two-week period, over 76,000 votes were cast,” stated Angelo Valente, the Partnership for a Drug-Free New Jersey’s executive director.  “More importantly though is that tens of thousands of young people were receiving substance abuse prevention messages as a result of their voting. Votes came in not only from teens in New Jersey, but from 44 states and the District of Columbia, and 42 countries across 6 of the 7 continents worldwide.”

The program’s website, www.shoutdowndrugs.com, was launched two years ago to a hugely successful online voting option to help select a winner.  All of the 2012 finalists will be featured on the website, beginning March 20, for the second phase of voting which runs through May 23.  These votes will be factored into the final scores of the finalists on the evening of the concert.

The mission of the Partnership for a Drug-Free New Jersey’s high school music competition is to allow high school teens throughout New Jersey to utilize their musical talents to write original songs featuring a strong drug prevention message and influence their peers to live a drug-free life. Comcast, the title sponsor since 2006, will once again film the concert to be aired on Comcast On Demand.

Tickets to the Prevention Concert are free of charge, but reservations must be made, beginning March 20, by visiting www.shoutdowndrugs.com, or calling 973-467-2100, ext. 19.

Best known for its statewide anti-drug advertising campaign, the Partnership for a Drug-Free New Jersey is a private not-for-profit coalition of professionals from the communications, corporate and government communities whose collective mission is to reduce demand for illicit drugs in New Jersey through media communication.  To date, more than $70 million in broadcast time and print space has been donated to the Partnership’s New Jersey campaign, making it the largest public service advertising campaign in New Jersey’s history.Since its inception the Partnership has garnered 120 Advertising and Public Relations Awards from National, Regional & Statewide Media Organizations.



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