'Save Our Kids' tour gets big reception

Michael Baisden brought his One Million Mentors National Campaign to Save Our Kids tour to standing ovations and shouts of "amen" at Paine College tonight.
Augusta is one of the 72 cities on the tour, which continues into September.
The syndicated radio talk show host started the campaign earlier this year after he saw a video of the fatal September beating of Derrion Albert, a 16-year-old Chicago honor student.
The tour aims to encourage people to step up and mentor the youth in their communities so that such violent acts will stop.
There was standing room only inside Paine's Gilbert Lambuth Memorial Chapel, and several people stood outside after the building reached capacity.
"I think we got a new record," Baisden told the audience in reference to the turnout.
The event featured a panel of speakers that included Dr. Doris Mulden Hickson, principal of Midland Valley High School; Jerry Smith, a licensed social worker and a member of Dads In Action; and Dr. Dana Bedden, superintendent of the Richmond County schools.
Hickson encouraged mentoring groups not to give up.
"We don't need quitters," she said. "If you're going to start a program, finish it."
Parents also need to go back to parenting and disciplining their children, Smith told the audience, reminding them that there's a difference between discipline and abuse.
Bedden said that while he commends the work mentoring groups are doing, they need to make it a collective effort if an impact is to be made.
He also encouraged the audience to stand behind those who make decisions with their best interests in mind - citing lawmakers as an example - even if the decision is unpopular, he said.
Several area mentoring organizations set up booths in at the chapel to distribute information and to sign up mentors.
For more information about the One Million Mentors National Campaign to Save Our Kids, visit www.onemillionmentors.com.

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