Victim turns the tables to promote nonviolence

ENCINITAS — The message and goal of one local organization is simple — come together for positive change and stand united for nonviolence in the community. Yet the complexities of violence are painstakingly evident in the wake of the Chelsea King and Amber Dubois cases.
For Rock to Stop Violence founder Michelle Renee, the mission to unite millions for nonviolence stems from a devastating personal experience. In 2000, the Encinitas resident and her young daughter, Breea, were brutally attacked during a violent home invasion kidnapping, hostage and bank robbery. 
“After we survived the devastating violent crime I had a choice to make,” Renee said. “Allow it to paralyze me into inaction or show my daughter and the world that you can choose to become empowered by the events in our life.” 
She chose the latter option and created Rock To Stop Violence in 2007. The organization coordinates events for nonprofit beneficiaries by bringing together rock ‘n’ roll music, art and fashion to promote a united stand against violence and abuse.
With her vision for global awareness via the organization and her debut memoir turned Lifetime Movie, “Held Hostage,” Renee said she envisions Rock To Stop Violence becoming an internationally recognized event. Plans are already under way for additional fundraising events in Chicago, New Orleans and Orlando.
This year’s Rock To Stop Violence event will be held May 19 at the House of Blues in San Diego. Renee has teamed up with Good Friends United-San Diego, Blew-Print Modeling and San Diego Entertainment & Arts Guild to create a unique event filled with music, fashion and fun.
Proceeds will benefit the Chadwick Trauma Center for Children and Families at Rady Children’s Hospital. Renee and her daughter sought treatment at the center after their traumatic event and feel a sense of gratitude. The center promotes the health and well-being of abused and traumatized children and their families through a variety of methods.
Renee said the uplifting event is designed to raise awareness in a way that will inspire people rather than depress them with statistics and horror stories like the one she lived through.
The family-friendly event includes entertainment by 9-year-old Jaden Carlson, a local high school rock band and current and former members of several classic rock bands.
Tickets for Rock To Stop Violence are now on sale at www.rocktostop.org. Adult tickets are $35, youth tickets are $20 and VIP tickets can be purchased for $100. VIPs will experience no-wait autograph signing, and food and drink tickets. VIP tables can also be purchased.

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