Local Anti-Drug Campaign Has Signature Song

JONESBORO -- Cocaine white and gun metal gray... Visual pictures and lyrics from a song that a local organization hopes will focus attention on drug abuse and addiction in Region 8.  Out Of The Dark got its start less than three months ago after a rash of overdose cases in Jonesboro.  Two hundred people answered the call to community activism and now a local artist has become "the voice" behind the organization.

There's a monster on the streets of town stealing our children away.  He's a worship minister, father, and a local singer-songwriter who believes this song can truly make a difference in the fight against drug addiction.

"There is a line in here about, 'she had no choice but to go to work and leave them alone.  A stray bullet came through the wall and now a six-year-old is gone," said Travis Eades, local singer-songwriter. "I was letting people listen to that and one person responded, come on...does that stuff really happen? And it was at that point, I knew I had to finish the song."

Eades says the concept for the song, "Stealing Our Children Away" started with Gloria Ross of Jonesboro and Bernadette Nagis of New York.  He finished it, and not long after heard about the community-based out of the dark campaign to increase awareness of drug abuse and addiction.  So he took a CD to one of their meetings.

"We we got into our cars after the meeting, put it into the car, and the music just blew me away," said Skip Mooney, Jr., founder of Out Of The Dark.  "My daughter was with me and my wife was with me also. The lyrics to it just grabbed our hearts."

The song is now featured on the Out Of The Dark website and its Myspace page.

And Travis went on to record nine other songs inside of six weeks for his first CD, "Where Will You Be?"

A concert launched the CD and donations to Out Of The Dark.

"He had a lot of people show up for his concert," said Mooney.  "And he has a lot of fans around here and that's great.  And of course, he allowed me to get up and talk about Out Of The Dark."

A graduate of Hoxie High School, Eades says he doesn't aspire for bigger and better things. If they happen, fine.  He just wants his message to be remembered and children to be given the best chance possible in life. That's why he thinks this song is so important.

"I think it strikes a chord because we love our children and we know that children don't grow up saying one of these days I'm going to be a drug addict," said Eades. "They don't grow up saying I'm gonna deal drugs or be in a gang.  They don't say those things."

Eades says its all about teaching children to make the right decisions, decisions that can affect the rest of their lives.  Out Of The Dark recognizes drug addiction is a family problem.

"When you're dealing with someone who has a major addiction problem, the whole family tends to fall apart because they don't know what to do," said Mooney.  "They don't know where to go."

As for the attention his work is getting right now, Eades says he's thrilled.

"You know, I'm living the dream," said Eades.  "I'm already doing everything that I've ever wanted to do."

For more information on Out Of The Dark, contact Skip Mooney, Jr. or go to th Out Of The Dark website at www.outofthedark.org or www.myspace.com/outofthedark.org.  For more information on Travis Eades and his CD, "Where Will You Be?" go to www.myspace.com/traviseadesmusic.