Drum extravaganza planned behind Lititz Springs Park

By on July 13, 2011

By: GARY P. KLINGER Record Express Correspondent, Staff Writer

Regardless of the weather report, there is a 100 percent chance of thunder on Saturday, Aug. 6 in the vicinity behind the water plant at Lititz Springs Park, from noon until 5 p.m.

That is the day Severn Trent Services and Bobby D. Jones will sponsor the 11th Annual Bobby D and Friends Let’s Get Hooked on Drums…Not Drugs event.

Over the years, Jones who is affectionately known as Bobby D, has performed for over 85,000 kids at different school and non-school events across several states. His message is clear: get hooked on drums and you won’t need drugs.

"I have performed from Virginia to New Jersey," said Bobby D. "I have had sponsorship from such organizations as the American Lung Foundation, The Maryland Smoking Stops Here Campaign, The Governor’s Office of Safe & Drug Free Schools, Cecil Partnership for Children, Youth and Families, McDonald’s Corporation, Chick-Fil-A and Rita’s Water Ice. My premier local sponsor is Herr’s Snacks.

"My music endorsements are Sonor Drums, Evans Drums Heads and Vic Firth Sticks. For this Lititz event, I have a special marketing agreement with Dream Cymbals."

Bobby D’s enthusiasm for life is clear in his energy and drive for reaching the youth of the community.

"As Bobby D the Drummer, I need kids to see being born and raised in North Philadelphia, I made the commitment to myself to stay drug, alcohol and tobacco free; I still hold to that standard. I did not need to get hooked on drugs, because I would tell friends, I’m hooked on drums. As for North Philadelphia, I tell kids to never let your environment dictate your future. When it’s all said and done, consider the arts as a career. Get Hooked On Drums will showcase not only the talent of our area, but also the businesses of the art and music community of Lititz."

This event also gives Bobby D the opportunity to reintroduce the community to his employer, Severn Trent Services. He is employed as a licensed Level IV water plant operator by the company. If this company sounds familiar, it should: it is the same company that operates water treatment facilities for the greater Lititz Borough and Warwick Township area.

"By hosting this event, they are demonstrating their commitment to me as their operator, but mainly their unwavering commitment to the community and to the youth of our community," commented Bobby D on Severn Trent’s sponsorship and support.

"I approached my project managers Todd Kauffman and Carl Kline with an idea to do something different to promote our company," Bobby D continued. "They knew that I was doing a lot of traveling back and forth with the drumming commitments and asked me to consider something in this area. After meeting with the borough council and getting permission to host the event at the water plant, the rest was, as we say, history. I spoke with my music mentor, Ken at Ken’s Music, and explained what I wanted to do. I have been pressing forward since that meeting with him."

Bobby D added that he has a special surprise in store for the audience.

"As a special surprise (not to let the surprise out too early), the audience will be treated to a free mass group dance class given by Jennifer Olsen from Pulse Dance Studio. It’s never been executed before, but we plan to see how many people we can get taking a group dance lesson at one time. Afterwards, it’s Bobby D and the Pulse Dancers."

Bobby D also said that he is putting forth a challenge for a Zumba instructor to call him so that Zumba and drums could be added to the day.

Already a small army of people are on board to help with logistics. Among them are Tammy from Creativity on Main Street and her group of Leo Lions. The Leos will also be food vendors of the day. Proceeds from their food sales will go to help their local causes. Bobby D is still hoping other vendors will contact him to come to the event.

What makes this event particularly exciting is that those who come can do more than simply observe: they can participate. Bobby D explained that while he is first and foremost looking for drummers to come with their drum sets, he added that anyone interested in drums, from the dash board and steering wheel drummers to those who just know drummers or even those who have harbored a life-long dream of being a drummer can be a part of the event.

Bobby D added, "Ladies are especially encouraged to participate."

While several sponsors have already come forward to help, more are needed.

"As with any event there are expenses," he explained. "Prayerfully, sponsors will come on board to assist once the word reaches them of our goal. I will say, I have left a lot of messages asking for help and support. Our only objective is to reach out to the youth of our community."

Other sponsors that have already come forward include The Purple Turtle clothing store which will have gift certificates for some lucky young ladies. Dosie Dough will provide coffee and danishes for the guest drummers on the morning of the event. And visiting drummers will be staying at the Warwick Lodge.

"I transferred into the area a year ago, so I’m aware that getting people to know who I am will be a slow process and I must be patient," said Bobby D. "To them I say, let’s meet in the middle with a drum between us, and have a musical conversation."

According to Bobby D, participants for the event are "school aged kids from 1 to 99" years of age. There is a special emphasis on kids from elementary to high school, but anyone with an interest in drums can join in. Those with drum sets are strongly encouraged to bring them along.

"One of the special events on that day will be our very own Severn Trent Bucket Brigade," he added. "We are going to do our very own Lititz version of ‘Stomp’. Our message to the kids is clear — Let’s stomp out the drugs.

"I need them to see, everything that they need to succeed in life, they already have inside of them. Continue to pay attention to mom, dad and especially your grandparents and teachers. Make positive and wise choices, and the rest will fall into place. Pray for a positive mentor to come into your life… Someone who has your best interest in heart."

Severn Trent will provide buckets and drum sticks, but should you have your personal bucket, wash board or pie pan, bring it on.

Bobby D said his goal would be to break Canada’s drumming record of having 300 drummers simultaneously playing in the park. He sees that goal as a stretch, but an appropriate starting point.

"I want to begin our own Lititz record then each year set to break it," he said. "Our kids are our future, so as long as we continue to support the music and arts programs of our schools, there is nowhere to go but up."

There is no rain date for the event, but Bobby D is praying for a day with no rain … but perhaps a bit overcast to hold back the sun.

"My final request and where you can participate even if you just drop by is Operation Change Head," he added. "I need everyone in the community to look through all of your drawers, ash trays, and move the sofa cushions and bring all of the loose change you find. The change will be collected and counted. Evans Drum Heads will give the Warwick High School Band new Evans heads, including the new 2011 Hybrid Snare heads at the endorser rate.

A special event will be held the day before the program, on Aug. 5, at Scooter’s Restaurant at 6 p.m. The community is invited to come out and have dinner with Bobby D, as well as special guest Wes Crawford and other drummers and friends. Spots are limited to the first 35 people who sign up.

Bobby D can be reached at Hookedondrums2011@hotmail.com or by calling 664-7580. More DRUMS , page A3

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