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‘Rock and skate’ event to benefit disadvantaged youth

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MASSENA - A community youth advocate is hosting a “rock and skate” event from 9 to 11 p.m. tonight in Potsdam to benefit disadvantaged youth in St. Lawrence County.

Tickets cost $3, and all proceeds will go toward the Dick Murphy Dalton/Duyette Memorial Youth Project, which helps cover costs for low-income children who want to get involved in recreational, musical or artistic activities.

Amy Murphy, the project’s organizer, said the project has been running for nine years and helped get 400 youth involved in recreational programs, who might not have been able to otherwise.

“When a child enters our program, we stick with them until their high school graduation,” Ms. Murphy said. “We believe if you can get kids involved in extracurricular activities, they will stay in school and stay out of trouble.”

The project provides coupons for disadvantaged youth to provide them with free or discounted rentals of equipment required to be involved in a sport or music program. She believes the lack of other low-cost recreational programs in Potsdam makes this project a necessity for disadvantaged youth.

“We don’t have a Y (program) or Boys & Girls Club here,” she said. “That’s why we started this program: to kind of level the playing field.”

The “rock and skate” will feature live music from a group of local musicians, in addition to snacks and skating. It’s the first fundraiser of its kind the project has held.

Previously, Ms. Murphy relied on donations, but with the downturn of the economy, she’s had to rely more heavily on donations in recent years. She is also organizing a “murder-mystery dinner-date” fundraiser.

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