Fun and safety are the combination for the Neosho Youth Board lock-in Friday night at the Neosho YMCA.
Area high school students are invited for a night of food, karaoke, live music, wallyball, pool, futsal and Halo, dodgeball and basketball tournaments. Cash prizes totaling $1,000 will be offered at the event.
“The main idea is to provide a safe environment for students,” said Melissa Schneider, Safe Teens coordinator for the Alliance of Southwest Missouri.
The group identified key weekends where teens are more likely to be at-risk for drinking or partying and Friday’s lock-in provides a safe place for students to be, Schneider said.
The event is open to all area teens and will try to teach teens not to drink and drive. They can try on “drunk goggles” and struggle through a vehicle obstacle course. Comedian Rocky Eagon will perform a stand up comedy routine with a call to not drink and drive.
“It will be fun, interactive,” Schneider said. “He’s hilarious.”
To attend, students must bring a waiver signed by their parents giving them permission to participate and $10 admission at the door. Admission is $7 if they get their ticket early.
Neosho High School and counselor’s office will have the waivers and the Neosho Youth Board members will also pass them out. Parents can also sign the form and pay at the Y.
Doors open at 10 p.m. and lock at 11 p.m., parent pick-up begins at 6 a.m.
Youth board members will also hand out Safe Homes pledges for parents to read and sign. The alliance hopes to help parents identify a community of people who will not allow underage drinking or teen partying.
“The idea is just that we create a safer community where parents trust each other and where there is an understanding amongst each other that they’re all on the same page,” Schneider said.
The pledge is part of a focus on eliminating underage drinking, something identified as a primary concern by the coalition, local law enforcement and the school district.
“It’s not just a state thing or a nationwide thing, it’s happening in Neosho,” Schneider said. “That’s why we’re working towards more awareness and education and hopefully some preventative measures.”