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Young Musicians Set to ‘Sing It Out’ for Annual AHA! Benefit on Saturday

AHA! serves teens and families year-round with both in-school and after-school programs.
AHA! serves teens and families year-round with both in-school and after-school programs. (AHA! photo)

A dozen teenagers will take the stage one-by-one singing rock and roll cover songs on Saturday, May 9 for “Sing It Out!”, a joyful and inspiring program of AHA!, a nonprofit organization that fosters social and emotional intelligence in adolescents.

Now in its 11th year, the event takes place at the Deckers Brands’ Rotunda at 6601 Hollister Ave. in Goleta.

Rock musician Tina Schlieske and her band, Tina Schlieske and the Graceland Exiles with Sister Laura, will back up the teens, of whom many have never sung in public before. They have been practicing for months to overcome obstacles and individual challenges, using music as therapy. Their performances represent the culmination of their journeys. Santa Barbara Mayor Helene Schneider will sing with the group to show her support.

"This is the most uplifting family show of the year,” said Jennifer Freed, co-founder of AHA! “More than ever, Sing It Out represents what we can be as a community. Teens defeat their fears while adults embrace the teens. Everyone comes together that night to say YES to heart, courage, conviction, and possibility.”

AHA! serves teens and families year-round with both in-school and after-school programs; its main purpose is to teach social and emotional intelligence through a highly creative and participatory curriculum where everyone feels understood and has a sense of purpose and belonging. AHA!’s experiential curriculum guides teens to set goals, celebrate diversity and combat bullying.

In a recent survey of Santa Barbara High School students who participated in AHA!’s program, 94 percent of the students said that they learned to accept other people and their differences. The success of AHA!’s work is also shown in the 96 percent of students who wish they could have the program more often and would recommend AHA! to other high school students.

Deckers Brand Showcase, at the event site, is offering a special shopping experience for those attending Sing It Out! This is not open to the public and is a special consideration for the AHA! organization. Attendees for Sing It Out! will receive a 20 percent discount on their purchases of the following Deckers Brands: UGG Australia, Teva, Sanuk, Ahnu, HOKA ONE ONE, Tsubo and MOZO. When purchasing the UGG brand, there will be a limit of three items at the 20 percent discount. In addition, Deckers will donate 20 percent of the purchase proceeds to benefit AHA! This offer is not to be combined with any other offer or discount and is only valid on May 9 from 5 to 7 p.m.

In addition, 40 AHA!-trained Peace Builders from local high schools will demonstrate “connection circles” preceding the performance. Connection circles teach people how to speak openly, honestly and deeply with one another.

Top sponsors of Sing It Out! include Deckers Brands, Kristin Kirby, Unitarian Society of Santa Barbara, Brad Lemons Foundation, Marilee and Stephen Gordon, Dean Pitchford and Michael Mealiffe, Vivienne Leebosh, Elizabeth Stegall and the Santa Barbara Bowl Foundation.

Tickets for Sing It Out! are $25 for adults and $10 for students under the age of 18. VIP tickets are $125 and include food, drinks and preferred seating. Taco truck fare, wines donated by Babcock Winery & Vineyards, and a signature cocktail will be available for purchase. For information about sponsorship opportunities, contact Molly Green at [email protected]. Click here to purchase tickets.

— Ann Pieramici and Julia Rodgers represents AHA!

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