COPPERAS COVE — The Texas Music Jam showcased local and Texas musicians in a free concert series Saturday to promote drug-free lifestyles.

“This year, we really are emphasizing anti-bullying in the organization,” said Jack Welch, who founded the Communities Helping Americans Mature, Proceed and Succeed program. “It’s really important that we help these young people succeed in a drug-free environment.”

CHAMPS started the music jam as a summer festival to give students and families a taste of the state’s live music scene.

“This is our way of giving something back to the community,” Welch said. “It’s all about having fun, and letting people have good, positive entertainment.”

This year marks the first time Texas Music Jam ran congruently with Rabbit Fest, and the organizers hope it helps make the event bigger and better.

“We really hope this drives up the crowds,” said Rachel Sizemore, one of the organizers and performers. “This event allows us to bring the local talent to the limelight, and it’s always good when people come out and support each other.”

The concert series ran all day Saturday, and included the CHAMPS Idol competition, with the winners receiving a cash prize and a free recording session with the Big Valley Agency in Copperas Cove.

“One of the really fun things about the idol competition is that it’s a vocal competition, not a solo competition,” Sizemore said. “I’m actually surprised there weren’t more bands entered this year. You don’t have to be a solo act to compete. In fact, we have a duet in the finals here this year.”

Among the professional acts performing were Tommy Clark, Pat Waters and Chainlink Band and headliners Micky and the Motorcars.

Local businesses helped sponsor the event and the concessions were run by Project Graduation for Copperas Cove High School, which shares CHAMPS’ mission. Project Graduation raises funds to ensure a safe drug-free graduation party for the seniors at the high school.

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