Strobe lights and music were in full effect at Club One and the bar was fully stocked, with soda. The patrons were all well under 21. They were celebrating Red Ribbon Week, "the Rochester youth need other youth to stand up and say that drugs are not okay and we don't want that in our community," said Na'Im Wilcox, a Peer Educator for Safe Sex Inc., "and this party us being here is our stand on drugs "
In addition to dancing, the teens could check out a variety of tables to learn how to live drug free, "you're ruining your health by putting substances into your body when you're not really sure the effects they're going to have on your body in the long run," said Wilcox.
Teens also had access to information on how to stay sexually healthy. There was information about abstinence, safe sex, preventing pregnancy, and HIV testing, "they need to know where they can get tested they need to know that it's safe and it's okay to get tested," said Tremaine Harris, a health educator with the City of Rochester.
Organizers say the party is a way to reach teens who may not go to health fairs or get the information in a classroom, "some people may have gotten HIV testing today, some may have visited some of the tables, and got condoms and what not and got advice from peer leaders as well," said Junior Dillion of Safe Sex Inc.,"so you've got to hit it from all angles." Harris added, "its a way they can come together, learn at the same time and have fun."
For teens it's all about helping each other make healthy choices, "if you can peer pressure someone to do the wrong things you can peer pressure someone to do the right things," said Wilcox.
Teens had to pay a dollar to get into the party. The money is being donated to Mothers Against Drunk Driving.