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Fun to tag out bullying

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An anti-bullying event at Red Zone Laser Tag in Columbus will include food and games and allow children to play in inflatable bounce houses and crawl through a military Humvee and a fire truck.

The event, from noon to 5 p.m. Saturday, will raise funds for the nonprofit anti-bullying organization Angels & Doves, which is based in Indianapolis and gives anti-bullying presentations in schools.

Organizer Marla Jo Mason, a Cummins employee and musician, said she hopes to have at least 1,000 attendees and raise $25,000.

Visitors who donate at least $1 can play a free game of laser tag. Food, including hot dogs and baked goods, will be for sale for $3 or less.

Mason said a supervisor at Cummins asked her in January to create a community involvement event for her team at Cummins. She previously had partnered with Angels & Doves. When a colleague suggested a fundraiser to combat bullying, Mason agreed.

For Mason, a Martinsville native and Brown County resident for 16 years, the anti-bullying event is personal.

Mason said that she was bullied as a child and as an adult. In school, classmates called her “geek” and “freak,” and she also said she is a survivor of domestic violence.

She addresses some of those topics in her song “Label on Me,” which deals with stereotyping. The song is included on her Tate Music Group album, “I Won’t Have to Worry About this World Anymore.”

The event at Red Zone Laser Tag, 746 Greenway Drive, also will include face painting, a silent auction and information about bullying prevention.

Angels & Doves co-founder Kim Harvey said the proceeds will allow the organization to give presentations in schools and to distribute anti-bullying T-shirts and books to bullied children.

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