Four-hundred Minnesota teenagers will get free lodging, meals and bus travel to St. Cloud next month courtesy of the state's youth tobacco prevention initiative.
The event, "Kick Ash Bash," is scheduled for April 2 through 4 at the St. Cloud Civic Center. It's intended to teach teens about the tobacco industry's marketing efforts and solicit their ideas on how to counteract them, said Joe Loveland of the Minnesota Department of Health.
The $275,000 project is being financed by the state's $6.1 billion tobacco settlement. Of that, $45,000 will be used to promote the event, including a Web site (http://www.kickashbash.com). According to the site, the program will include seminars led by teenagers, live music, an appearance by Gov. Jesse Ventura and "lots of cool free stuff."