Arts and Entertainment

Human trafficking?! Excuse Me Please!

“Excuse Me Please” members Madison Shipley, saxophone and bass, and Tim Tercero, guitar and vocals, pose at the Windjammer Park gazebo before a community show. - Katie McVicker/Whidbey News-Times
“Excuse Me Please” members Madison Shipley, saxophone and bass, and Tim Tercero, guitar and vocals, pose at the Windjammer Park gazebo before a community show.
— image credit: Katie McVicker/Whidbey News-Times

According to the A21 Campaign, an international effort to stop human trafficking, victims of human trafficking can be forced to service between 40 and 110 people every day and often suffer from malnutrition, sleep deprivation, physical abuse and sexually transmitted diseases.

After reading that fact, five Oak Harbor teens all asked the same thing, “Excuse me?!”

The alternative/indie band “Excuse Me Please” formed about three months ago when 18-year-old guitarist Tim Tercero ran into saxophone and bass player Madison Shipley, 18, at a coffee house and the two decided to play together. The pair formed a band with Tercero’s two sisters Eleah and Alicia and friend Josh Hubbard.

The group started performing at open-mic nights and decided they were going to play for a cause — aiding in the fight against human trafficking.

The teens began asking for donations at their shows and have since donated hundreds of dollars to anti-trafficking campaigns like A21 and NightLight International.

“Human trafficking is a huge problem in today’s world that people rarely hear about, likely because it is so horrific,” Tercero said. “For us it has been a hard cause to work for because a lot of times you read the girls’ stories and you just want to close your eyes and pretend that kind of thing is not happening, but unfortunately it is and can’t be allowed to continue.”

Shipley learned about human trafficking when she did a report on it during high school. Through her research she said she discovered that between 14,500 and 17,500 women and children are trafficked into the U.S. each year.

“It sucks,” she said. “It happens a lot more frequently than you would think.”

Currently the band has about 16 songs.

“‘Unexpected Rush’ is my favorite song,” fan Jonny Powers said before a recent show at Windjammer Park, “but they’re all good.”

The group rehearses once a week at Oak Harbor’s New Covenant Fellowship Church. The band has an upcoming show Aug. 20 at Vagabond Sound in Oak Harbor. The time has not been posted.

To hear songs or get updates on upcoming shows, visit the band’s Facebook page listed under “Excuse Me Please.”

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