By Mary Simms
Honolulu - (KHNL) The largest DARE gathering in the nation happened today in Honolulu. Nearly 10,000 energetic Oahu fifth graders filled the Stan Sheriff center.
DARE challenges kids to stay active, and stay away from drugs.
"Its important for them to know its cool to be drug free, alcohol free, tobacco free. And even better for them and we also teach them how to make the right choices," Sgt. Ernie Pascual, DARE program coordinator.
Melody is a dare program graduate, making good choices.
"They talked about doing things that you like to, just not to fall into drugs and alcohol. Singing and acting are the things that I've always had a passion for."
Today, being drug free pays off as Melody realizes one of her dreams - performing for a very large crowd.
"If you enjoy doing what you're doing then nothing can really get in your way and stop you," Melody says as she prepares to go onstage.
Messages of success came from "drug free" role models.
The UH Warriors, the Trojans state cheerleading champions, and Mayor Mufi Hannemann told the kids to dream big, work hard, and stay away from drugs, to become champs.
"We're asking young people to step up to the plate and say no to guns drugs, and violence, said Hannemann."
"Everybody has dreams and if you want to do those dreams, drugs and alcohol aren't the way," said DARE graduate Kirstyn Trombetta.