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BreakAway Takes Fourth Place in Contest

February 20, 2014 3:25 p.m.

The Mattoon teen classic rock band, BreakAway, has placed fourth in the “Top 24 Under 24 Drug Mythbusters” contest on the SparkAction website ( The contest was held in observation of National Drug Facts Week.

Hunter Laughhunn, Jacob Murphy, and brothers Spencer and Will Sharp are classic rockers at heart, but also use their music as a platform to advocate for making healthy lifestyle choices. BreakAway was nominated by staff from I Sing the Body Electric, a substance abuse prevention program for teens in Sarah Bush Lincoln Healthy Communities Department.

BreakAway partnered with Body Electric to create messages with the theme of “BreakAway from harmful choices.” The band members appear in local television, radio, and billboard advertisements, which include topics about dealing with bullying to substance abuse prevention. The television and radio spots are based on data results of the Illinois Youth Survey which measures health risk behavior among teens. The videos can be viewed at and at

“It is encouraging for all ages to see members of a rock band promote healthy lifestyle choices rather than the “bad boy” image of doing drugs and drinking alcohol,” shares Body Electric Program Coordinator, Georgia Hillard. “The contest was brought to my attention by Toq Lawrence of Big Brothers/Big Sisters. Although voting time was quickly running out, we felt that the band members deserve recognition for the contributions they are making as positive role models.”

While the community had only three days to vote, the band was catapulted to fourth place by the deadline thanks to actions taken by the BreakAway family and fans, Mattoon School District administrators/staff/students, and the employees of Consolidated Communications, Sarah Bush Lincoln, and Lake Land College.

SparkAction is a collaborative journalism and advocacy site to mobilize action by and for young people. They gather, synthesize and promote the best information on a range of child and youth issues across the development spectrum, from organizations and leaders across the country.

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