3K walk and concert to raise awareness about bullying

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SPRING HILL – Bully Police USA of Florida and Stand Up to Bullying is holding a 3K walk for bullying awareness Saturday at Anderson Snow Park.

Stand Up to Bullying is a local organization established in the memory of West Hernando Middle School student, Miguel Rodriguez, who committed suicide Jan. 23 after years of being bullied.

The organization is in the process of establishing a scholarship fund in Miguel’s legacy, which is to be awarded to Hernando County students who stand up for others who are being bullied. Miguel’s mother, Jeanette McCants, said the main focus of the event is for attendees to listen to motivational speakers like Corey Thorton, who has spoken to students at Hernando County Schools in the past.

“I want kids to sit down and listen to him, and be a part of that,” she said.

The event begins at 9:30 a.m. and includes live entertainment throughout the day with local bands and artists, a softball tournament, home run derby, food and drinks, vendors and exhibits, and prize give aways and drawings, according to Bully Police liaison Robyn Hartman.

Activities for children include sack and relay races, pin the tail on the donkey, and face painting, she said, and an area will be available for those who want to bring horse shoes and frisbees.

Local performances will include Thorton at 10:30 a.m., I.G. Vitte at 11:45 a.m., Rick Stouts at 1:00 p.m., Better Late at 2:15 p.m., The Terry Cole Show at 3:30 p.m., John Hindman at 4:45 p.m., Hot Mess at 6:00 p.m., Billy McKnight and the Soul Circus Cowboys at 7:15 p.m., and Catherine Steele at 8:30 p.m.

Local businesses have also stepped up to support the organization and scholarship fund. Texas Roadhouse held a fundraiser for the organization Thursday evening, and Chili’s restaurants in Spring Hill, Pasco County, and Citrus County will hold similar fundraisers Sunday, McCants said.

“All (customers) have to do is mention they’d like to have the check for their meals donated toward the fundraiser, and they’ll give 15 percent,” McCants said.

Admission and parking to Saturday’s event is free, and a $5 donation is requested for park concert fees, according to Hartman.

The event will begin 9:30 a.m. on Saturday at 1360 Anderson Road in Spring Hill. For more information, contact Hartman at (352) 238-4525 mreinig@hernandotoday.com (352) 544-5271