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A slashing good time for a good cause

April 11, 2006|By HIRA ZEB and FEDORA COPLEY

Colored lights flash and swerve on musicians leaping and slashing on stage. Spotlights illuminate the dance floor. Bass notes vibrate the floor underfoot. Teens bounce, bob and shriek.

Rock for a Reason, a marathon concert fundraiser hosted by Justin Gosnell, 24, of Frederick, Md., and Josh Morningstar, 22, of Hag-erstown, was a hit. Seven bands performed at Stingers Sports Pub & Grill near Boonsboro to raise money and raise awareness.

Gosnell and Morningstar said the event, which took place Sunday, April 9, was held to honor Jon Barnes, Mike Abeil and Brian Daigle, three teens who died in a fire in December 2005.

Gosnell and Morningstar decided to host this fundraiser when they saw a newspaper article about the families of the victims and their idea for a skate boarding park in honour of their children. Gosnell, not a skateboarder himself, formed the idea for an event to raise money for the skateboarding park.

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"Rock bands and skateboarding go together," Gosnell said.

He contacted eight bands and asked them to volunteer; seven performed. All donations and proceeds from Sunday's concert were to go towards the construction of a skate park, something the boys dreamed of when they were living. The three boys loved to skateboard.

Vestascension performed early in the eight-hour marathon. The atmosphere was great in the Nest, Stingers' concert arena, and there were quite a few people going around the huge building. A petition promoting construction of the skate park was available for signing.

Later, around 5:30 p.m., a Baltimore band called Since hit the stage. They opened their show with smoke and lights and a classic all-together jump. Their music - mostly original tunes - was quite literally breathtaking, just by the sheer volume. Lyrics and instruments melded together in an abdomen-buzzing blast, engaging and enigmatic.

The music was only half the fun, though. Watching the expressive band members under an array of flashing, colored colors was not just fun, it was energizing, too.

On the dance floor, teens clustered, danced and bounced. A little girl spun in a spotlight, arms held out, as if letting the sounds wash over her. She dashed over to a couple of teenage girls close to the stage, one of whom scooped her up and continued bobbing to the beat.

Next to them, a group of fans, mostly dressed in black, jumped and headbanged to the booming basses and vocals.

However they expressed it, the crowd enjoyed the music, and, with some help from heavy rockers, remembered three kids who had a dream.

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