Lucky The DJ Reflects on This Year’s Live for 175
The eleventh annual Live for 175 is officially in the books. Over the eight days we were at the Village at Meridian sharing our Child Abuse Awareness campaign, each of us had at least one experience that reminded us WHY we do this. Many of those who are involved in Live for 175 have been involved for years, and it's because of the people who put our event together, and the stories that bring all of us together.
There's so much emotion that fills my heart when I reflect on this year's event. Half of me focuses on the people that are responsible for pulling off the event itself. So many passionate individuals were involved in making it a success. I don't think its possible to really understand all the moving parts and people it takes to run a radio station remotely 24/7 while being powered by stationary exercise bikes hooked up to power generators. The logistics it takes to organize 4,100 people and cycle them through.
Our volunteers honestly can't be thanked enough. Our lead volunteers Vanessa and Zach along with their staff are the glue that holds Live for 175 together. They don't make any money, it's not glamorous, but they come to the event every day with a smile. This event belongs to them just as much as it does to us.
Our promotions managers Joe E King and Jorge are mad scientists behind Live. They would stay up at all hours, be on-call 24/7, and ensure that our bikes and broadcast stayed running throughout our eight days.
Finally, my 103.5 KISS FM family, Mateo and Keke. These two need another post to explain the depths of their passion, ethic, and enthusiasm I witnessed this week. When it comes down to it, my favorite part of Live for 175 is working with these people. Doing something crazy, something good, with good people is fulfilling.
As I stressed earlier, while there are endless amounts of people to thank for helping put Live for 175 together, there wouldn't be a Live for 175 without the people. The people who need a voice. The people who are going through life-changing events of abuse. Some of whom don't think to speak up until this event.
If there was any doubt about whether or not anything was accomplished, or if any lives were changed as a result of the event, allow me to share this story.
On our last day of Live for 175, a woman walked up to me. Something about her body language gave me the feeling that she was about to tell me something serious.
I walked with her away from the riders and our stage so we could speak in private. As soon as she spoke, I could hear her fight back tears. There was stress in her voice, a desperate, uncomfortable cadence that made her hard to understand. I put my hand on her shoulder and assured her that she could open up to me. Though I had never met this woman before in my life, I wanted to protect her, or at least make her feel safe and comfortable while she was talking to me.
She began to explain how, because of Live for 175, a judge had granted her a restraining order against her husband.
This woman had recently found out that her abusive husband was also a pedophile after the arrest. She had lived with the abuse for some time but once her daughter heard about Live for 175, the daughter came forward and shared her own personal stories with this individual. That was the last straw.
The judge commended the child while issuing the restraining order and referenced Live for 175. She drove all the way to the Village to thank us for what we were doing. We sat together on the last day of the event and cried together. As she was thanking us, I was thanking her. She was the one that was so strong. After we pack up and get back to our "radio routine," she has to deal with her life. This woman is a true hero.
There were many stories like this woman's that were shared this past week. Over the course of this year's Live for 175, I saw the absolute best in people while taking a stand against the absolute worst in people.
As I wrap up, I would leave you with this. Abuse isn't some distant far away land we only see or hear about on the news. It's not faceless; it's not foreign. As awesome as our Treasure Valley community is, there are still children around us that are not safe. There are children that you pass on the street that are being abused. There are families scared for their safety. It happens, it happens here. It happens in front of you and me. Live for 175 is over, but the message needs to continue all year long, it shouldn't hurt to be a child.