DeKALB – Laura Bartosik wants to find a permanent space for her cause and next weekend’s Battle of the Bands at The House Cafe will help Project Seth find a home.
Bartosik started the nonprofit awareness group with her husband in 2014, after their son Seth committed suicide. On March 4, The House Cafe will host an event to benefit the organization, which is aimed at providing resources and support to teens in need. This will be the second “Sethtastic” Battle of the Bands.
“The kids had such a good time that we decided to do it again,” Bartosik said. “We have three returning bands this year and three new ones.”
Bring Your Son to Work Day, I, the Martian, Jade Daniel, Joey Oxnevad, Idiots with Ryhum and Fields of May will perform Friday.
Aaron DeBall sings with Bring Your Son to Work Day and was good friends with Seth. He said he is passionate about the cause and wants to help raise awareness about suicide.
“It’s been more of a growing topic as of recently,” he said.
“Suicide has always been around but not a lot of people think it’s as big of an issue as it is. ... I think people are kind of afraid to talk about it, because they don’t know how to talk about it.”
He also said the topic of suicide is somewhat taboo and people think that it’s never going to happen to them – which is why it’s so hard when someone close to them takes their life.
“It’s good to know there are organizations out there like Project Seth that are willing to make people aware of the situation,” he said.
Jose Gomez, who plays guitar and sings with I, the Martian, said the band is playing the gig again because it’s a good cause and he enjoys the people.
“It’s a really good group of people,” Gomez said. “Everyone in the band went to school with Seth and we know all the kids that end up showing up to this. … Even if we don’t see each other for the rest of the year, it’s nice to see everyone at least once for this.”
It means a lot for the community to come out and support the kids and the cause, Bartosik said.
“Last year we had 13-year-olds and 14-year-olds up to 60- and 70-year-olds come enjoy the music and support the kids,” she said. “This is a way for us to celebrate all their talents and get together and show them they have more support than just their social group.”
Project Seth hosts support groups and classes out of places like the Hy-Vee meeting room or local churches, but the goal is to have a space of its own. Bartosik said community involvement is key to the cause.
“I want to stress how important community involvement is with this group and this age,” she said. “If it’s important to them, it should be important to us as a community.”
IF YOU GO:
WHAT: Sethtastic Battle of the Bands
WHERE: The House Cafe, 263 E. Lincoln Highway, DeKalb
WHEN: 7 p.m. Friday, March 4; doors open at 6 p.m.