Nonprofit launches Self-Bullying Awareness Campaign featuring recording artist, Dan Evans
As an obese teenager, Dan Evans dreamed about being a country music performer but knew his weight would keep him out of the spotlight. That all changed when Evans dropped from 310 to 174 lbs while competing on "The Biggest Loser” reality TV Show.
Now, 24-year-old Evans’ is a recognized recording artist with his CD, “Goin’ All Out” debuting at number seven on the Country Western Billboard Charts. In one song, “Letter to My Addiction,” Evans boldly declares that food addiction is in his past and he’s taken back his life.
Betty Hoeffner, co-founder and president of Hey U.G.L.Y., Inc., a nonprofit dedicated to helping youth self-discover solutions to counter bullying, obesity and racism, said she was so moved by the song that she cried.
“When I heard Dan sing, ’No more looking in the mirror at somebody I don’t recognize. Now without you I can see who I am, who I’ve always been inside,’ it just tore me up,” confessed Hoeffner who hosts “Choose To CHANGE” Hey U.G.L.Y’s teen radio show based on the power of lyrics. ”One of the best ways to communicate with youth is through music. The lyrics to “Letter to My Addiction” clearly explain the power of our minds driving us to do things that are not good for us. It’s a huge form of self-bullying. As Dan’s points out in this song “ ... I’m tired of hating me and living with no pride. I’m letting go of you, I’m taking back my life” it’s up to us to banish the negative self-bullying and replace it with positive messages. That’s why we are endorsing Dan’s song and taking his powerful message about self-love into schools for assembly presentations"
Beginning this fall, Hey U.G.L.Y. will begin booking Evans through its “Stop Self Bullying & LOVE Yourself Enough Tour” designed to help youth self-discover ways to cancel out negative judgments and replace them with positive messages. The tour will feature an interactive self-esteem-building presentation by Evans with a mini-concert.
Evans is excited that Hey U.G.L.Y. is using his lyrics and message to help teens across the country.
“When I wrote the song, I knew it was made for more than the radio or to sing in concerts,” Evans said. “With Hey U.G.L.Y, the song will hopefully help some teens overcome their personal addictions to negative self-talk, food, substance abuse or things like drama, anger, and bullying.”
Jill Zimmerman Rutledge,a Chicago-based eating disorders therapist, recommends the song as an inspiration and source of support for those dealing with an addiction and those who love an addict.
“Letter to My Addiction’ is a heartfelt song about the power of addictions and the greater power of hope and self-love,” says Zimmerman Rutledge, the author of the award-winning books, “Picture Perfect: What You Need to Feel Better About Your Body” and “Dealing With The Stuff That Makes Life Hard.” “I applaud Hey U.G.L.Y. for endorsing this song and bringing it to the attention of teens. I highly recommend that anyone who struggles with an addiction, and anyone who loves an addict, listen to this song and memorize the words for inspiration and support.”
Evans co-wrote the song with Tanya Leah and Stephanie Lewis. Leah is an award winning, multi-platinum songwriter and producer. She has achieved number one and top ten records spanning a variety of genres. Lewis has had ten Top 10 hits in various genres since the early ’90s. She was recognized as 2002 Songwriter of the Year by the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers.
Visit www.heyugly.org and click on “Letter to My Addiction” in the menu to read the lyrics and download the song for 99 cents. Thirty percent of each download will be donated to Hey U.G.L.Y. To book a ’Stop Self-Bullying & Love Yourself Enough’ interactive school presentation call 219-778-2011.
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