Exemplary Substance Abuse
Prevention Award Ceremony
Thank you, it is my honor to stand before you once more to present the 14th annual Exemplary Substance Abuse Prevention Awards. Last year was the first I had missed in many years. I am very pleased to be back.
The year before they had the 2010 Miss Washington and I standing outside doing the Macarena and other moves with hundreds of youth during the Let’s Draw the Line publicity event, so this year’s Miss Washington, Mandy Schendel, and I are pleased that we have not been asked to do something “Gangnam style” tonight.
That aside, the people who we are giving the awards to this evening are the ones who are really making the moves, along with each of you who are taking your time to do something to prevent substance abuse in our state.
And it seems to me that this kind of work is more and more important than ever because, even though prevention works, and the number of Washington teens who use alcohol and other drugs is going down, there are a number of what I consider to be tragic things happening all around us.
It is very troubling to me that we are proposing to legalize marijuana at a time when youth treatment numbers for marijuana abuse in Washington continue to climb.
However, each person in this room knows what will happen if marijuana does become legal – we will come together as we do each time we are faced with a new threat to the health and safety of our communities and our youth. We will organize, we will educate, we will mobilize, and we will fight back. And I know what we won’t do – we won’t give up.
More and more kids are reported to be experimenting with new types of drugs and prescription drugs from a parent or relative’s medicine cabinet.
The liquor privatization initiative that passed last year also makes it easier for underage youth to get hard alcohol through sheer accessibility in the market place and walk out the door theft from supermarkets and drug stores. We are already hearing a number of reports in the media about rampant theft and black market sales since June.
And there have been a number of instances reported in the media lately about the dangerous mixing of alcohol and energy drinks. Just last weekend an 18-year-old freshman at Washington State University, Kenneth Hummel, a big, talkative kid with a kind smile for everyone his friends and family said, tragically died from acute alcohol poisoning after he was said to have consumed the equivalent of a fifth of whiskey and caffeinated energy drinks. His relatives are appealing that we do all we can to educate the public, especially youth, on this harmful practice so that Kenneth’s death was not in vain. I know you can all help with that.
Our first line of defense against all of this has to be found in our homes and in our immediate circles of friends. Our first line is peers, then parents and responsible adults, but when that doesn’t work we rely on courageous individuals like those who we are honoring tonight to take a stand against illicit drugs and harmful behaviors.
Tonight we are thanking a few, realizing that the work of us all will never stop. We must continue to fight harmful marketing practices that promote underage drinking and other forms of substance abuse. We must work at all levels, like you are doing here this week, to bring the battle to our schools, churches, youth organizations and to the home. We need more parents and teens to be educated about the effects of using alcohol and other drugs, and how this can often lead to tragedy beyond comprehension.
Tonight we celebrate this year’s heroes in this fight – those who help ensure that in the years ahead, we can still say that most teens don’t use alcohol and other drugs. I am happy to have a small part in it by making this presentation. It is you in the audience who are doing all of the work, day after day, and on behalf of the state of Washington I would like to extend to you our heartfelt thanks and appreciation.
Our first award is for being an Exemplary Youth Partner in Substance Abuse Prevention. The recipient is Breanna Atwell. Breanna, please join us on the stage.
Breanna is a student at Shelton High School and the current president of their SADD Club. She helps coordinate school, community events and town hall meetings that provide education about substance abuse and distracted driving. She shows that she is a leader by volunteering her time to sit on the Mason County Drug Alcohol Prevention Board, leading projects and presentations and by delegating responsibility so that others may learn new skills. Breanna successfully encourages other students to participate in club activities.
Not only is Breanna a leader in prevention; she maintains good grades, keeps up with her school work, and helps her family at home. Thank you, Breanna, for being an Exemplary youth champion for substance abuse prevention.
Our next two recipients are in the category of Exemplary Youth Leadership. Will the representatives Quincy Youth Action please come to the stage?
Since summer of 2010 this team of 25 youth have planned, organized and implemented numerous successful community prevention projects including: two Town Hall Meetings in English and Spanish, Let’s Draw the Line rallies, several community events, monthly movie nights, substance-free dances, environmental assessments of alcohol advertising, educational activities and presentations, and National Night Out community activities. These events and activities are a result of commitment and countless hours of volunteering.
This passionate and energetic group of youth regularly presents to groups and organizations and they’ve found many creative ways to reach out to the community and build relationships with community leaders. They take the time to make sure that their messages are effective and take the lead on translating all materials to provide them in both Spanish and English.
This team has been faced a financial challenge every year to support their prevention efforts, but instead of giving up they have engaged the community in fundraising activities to keep their projects moving forward.
Please give a round of applause for Quincy Youth Action for their unified prevention voice and leadership.
Now, would the members of the Wenatchee Youth Coalition please join us on stage?
The group that you see here today has been working in substance abuse prevention for the past three years with the TOGETHER! For Drug Free Youth Coalition in Wenatchee.
They participate in monthly youth and full coalition meetings, have built partnerships with community agencies and have planned several data-informed events and projects to reach their peers and the larger community. They have effectively produced media messages and campaigns in English and Spanish and work on changes in their surrounding influences, or environment
This group has shown commitment and dedication to educating their peers. They do this with enthusiasm and teamwork. And they have encouraged new members to join. We look forward to the great things this group will do this year too! Please help me to recognize the Wenatchee Youth Coalition for their exemplary contributions to prevention.
Our next category is Exemplary Health Care Partner. Dr. Gary Schillhammer is our next awardee. He is unable to join us tonight. Will Joe Neigel (Nye – gull), please join us on stage to accept the award on Dr. Schillhammer’s behalf?
Dr. Schillhammer began participating in the Darrington Prevention Intervention Community Coalition in 2011. He served as a vital partner in the development and implementation of Darrington's Health Care demonstration project to create a no-cost, prevention-focused, Teen Clinic housed at the high school. The countless hours that he spent working with the coalition to plan and implement the Well Aware Teen Clinic resulted in an extremely successful project. In addition to participating in coalition meetings, he has developed website content, writes prevention articles for the media, and speaks to students and the public. Even though the funding for the Teen Clinic has ended, Dr. Schillhammer is committed to continuing it through the school year, and is working to find financial support for the future.
Dr. Schillhammer is the only physician practicing medicine in Darrington. His services are in high demand and his time is scarce. Nevertheless, he continues to integrate prevention strategies into his practice. We applaud Dr. Schillhammer for his outstanding commitment to wellness.
Our next category is Exemplary Faith-Based Partner. Pastor David Curtis is unable to join us as well this evening. Monica Younger, please join us to accept the award on his behalf.
Pastor Curtis has been a significant member of the WellSpring Community Coalition in Pacific County since early 2009. In addition to attending monthly coalition meetings he has taken the initiative to participate on four of WellSpring's sub-committees. He serves on the Parent Enrichment Team sub-committee, to which he was instrumental in helping to formulate the mission and vision, and regularly donates refreshments and meeting space. He speaks to local government and civic groups and allows other coalition partners to speak at his Sunday service to recruit volunteers.
He recruits volunteers from his congregation and promotes the Coalition
activities and initiatives.
Through his connections he has encouraged underserved families to attend
workshops and classes. He truly cares about children and families. He
collaborated with other faith-based organizations to initiate a weekend
backpack program to send a backpack full of food home on Fridays for
children who might otherwise experience hunger without school meals.
Pastor Curtis, we applaud your exemplary support of substance abuse prevention and wellbeing in your community.
Our next category is forthe Exemplary Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition. Would the members of the Okanogan County Community Coalition please come forward?
The Okanogan County Community Coalition has been working to prevent youth substance abuse and violence for more than a decade. Their success is possible because of the passion of its 60 plus members and their desire to DO THE WORK. They have shown that they are truly exemplary.
These dedicated youth and adults have an extensive list of accomplishments that are the result of strong partnerships and trust that is earned by showing commitment and follow-through. A few of their activities include a youth-led positive social norms marketing campaign, school participation in a positive behavior enforcement strategy, a marijuana policy workgroup, Project Sticker Shock, (with materials in English and Spanish), increased law enforcement efforts, a permanent Prescription Drug drop-off location within the police department, community clean-up to cover graffiti, and Okanogan County’s most successful Town Hall Meeting that nearly 600 people attended.
They have effectively shown a need for services and have been successful with several grant applications and the Omak Youth Street Team was recognized at the 2011 Spring Youth Forum as a prevention program to make the most “impact” on their community.
We congratulate the Coalition members on their excellent achievements and powerful investment in prevention.
Our next category is Exemplary School-based Partner. Mr. Gerald Apple, please join us on stage.
Gerry has shown his dedication to safe and substance free youth for over 34 years. During this time, the youth teams that he coordinates have received national and state acknowledgment, however, this particular award today, is to recognize the dedication that Gerry has shown.
Gerry has gone above and beyond as a school-based prevention volunteer;
sitting on the Mason County Drug Alcohol Prevention board and as advisor
of the Shelton High School and Oakland Bay Junior High SADD clubs since
1985. He does all of this in addition to a full time job as a trainer of
traffic safety education teachers and coordinator
for 10 school districts.
He believes in student empowerment and works with his students to fund-raise thousands of dollars so that club members can attend conferences and implement projects.
Now, for our Exemplary Substance Abuse Prevention Strategy awards and we have three recipients in this category. First I would like to invite Anna Marie Dufault (Du-foe) to please join us on stage.
Anna Marie has been involved in substance abuse prevention efforts in Yakima County for over 8 years. She has worked extensively with the Yakima Meth Action Team to reduce meth use and create policies, she has organized media efforts and numerous educational programs, and most recently has served as the coordinator of the Safe Yakima Valley Coalition, a Drug Free Community grantee.
Anna Marie successfully works with communities that are in high-need for services . As a staunch advocate of cultural competency Anna Marie has trained coalitions, work groups, and influential individuals on the importance and value of diversity in prevention.
She has been active in several prevention coalitions throughout Yakima County and has shown an outstanding ability to bring people together throughout the county to achieve impacts on underage drinking.
Thank you, Anna Marie, for your commitment to community collaboration in Yakima County.
Now would Kelly Matlock and Anne Dean, please join us on stage.
Kelly and Anne are Co-Coalition Coordinators for Port Townsend and Jefferson County Community Network Coalitions. Together, they utilize the Adverse Childhood Experiences Study as a foundation for their efforts preventing substance abuse, child abuse and neglect. Their enthusiastic communication style and persistent advocacy along with successful information sharing has lead community leaders to start using prevention terminology when talking about the community’s social and health concerns.
Not only do they demonstrate a team approach to serving the community, they are known for reinforcing collaboration among all the providers in the community along the continuum of care. They value the perspectives, opinions and thoughts of others and have developed robust partnerships that have helped maintain services and advance their work despite financial challenges for services.
Anne and Kelly, we appreciate your commitment to substance abuse prevention and healthy communities.
Okanogan County Sheriff Rogers has been exemplary in his contributions to Substance Abuse Prevention for more than 10 years. In the year 2000 Sheriff Rogers helped create METH Action and Drug Endangered Children Teams that led to the development of the Okanogan County Community Coalition; of which he is currently the Chair.
Not only is Sheriff Rogers active in the coalition, he encourages his staff to volunteer as well. He showed collaborative leadership as he facilitated the work between various agencies to enact the Drug Endangered Children Team’s protocol. Not only is he a chief organizer in the Coalition’s Prescription Drug Take back days, he is influential in helping with media campaigns and coordinates capacity-building trainings. As a result of his strong networking and communication skills the Coalition has seen increased participation from all five Law Enforcement entities in Okanogan County.
One Coalition member proudly states that “He is not a figure head for our Coalition, he is the backbone.” We commend Sheriff Rogers for making prevention a priority.
Our next category is for Exemplary Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition Coordinators. Derek Franklin and Sharon Broz from the Mercer Island Communities That Care Coalition, please join us on stage.
Due to the extraordinary efforts of the coalition, Mercer Island was the first community in Washington State to pass a local social host ordinance; an effective environmental strategy in addressing underage drinking. This took much preparation and research, and they worked closely with the Mercer Island City Attorney and Police Chief to address concerns.
As environmental policy change impacts the whole community, it was important that information was shared broadly and that everyone had the opportunity to speak at public hearings. There are many factors come into play when it comes to making policy change, and the Coalition knew that it was important that they understood potential barriers and how to address those barriers. Derek, Sharon, and the coalition thoughtfully assessed the needs and resources of the community, planned and prepared and were ready to act when doors started to open.
Being the first in the state to have a social host ordinance shows incredible leadership; congratulations.
Our next two award winners are for Lifetime Achievement. Will the (guardsman) please come to the stage to accept the award on behalf of Col. Jerry Kosierowski. (KOS-ER-OW-SKI)?
Col. Kosierowski, with the Washington National Guard, has been a very active in substance abuse prevention. He was a member of the Governor’s Council on Substance Abuse, the Division of Behavioral Health and Recovery’s State Incentive Grant’s Advisory Council and was the Chair of the State Coalition for Reducing Underage Drinking’s Communications Impact Team. He was instrumental in the design and operation of the Start Talking Now website and several statewide media campaigns.
He made it possible for the Western Regional Counter-drug Training Center to support state-wide prevention efforts, programs and workforce development; something that other regional training centers did not do.
This year significant budget cuts and a re-definition of the mission of the training center led to the elimination of support for prevention efforts. And, Col. Kosierowski himself was re-assigned.
Please join me in recognizing Col. Kosierowski and all the troops who have supported prevention efforts across the state; they’ve been great partners and true prevention champions.
Our next recipient for Lifetime Achievement is Mary Ellen de la Peña. Mary Ellen will you please join us on stage?
Mary Ellen is being recognized tonight for her career in substance abuse prevention. Mary Ellen was the prevention specialist for Kitsap County for the past 22 years. She recently retired this summer. During this time she built lasting partnerships and engaged the community, schools and families to take a vested interest in the health and wellness of youth.
She managed the Community Mobilization and Substance Abuse Prevention Program in Kitsap County. She served as the chair of the “Kitsap Tobacco Task Force” and chair of the “Count on Kitsap to Reduce Substance Abuse Coalition”. Mary Ellen was an active member of the Washington State Community Mobilization Advisory Committee and showed great commitment to workforce development and policy education to advance prevention efforts.
Her many accomplishments include the initiation of the Kitsap Drug Court, creation of the Teen Mentor Program, and the establishment of the Kitsap Youth Mentoring Consortium and the Youth Mentoring Endowment. Mary Ellen was instrumental in coordinating the Kitsap County Meth Action Team, and prides herself on successful collaboration with the Kitsap County Domestic Violence Task Force. The result of excellent community coordination resulted in the implementation of multiple programs and conferences and an impact felt by her community. Thank you, Mary Ellen, for your outstanding contributions to Substance Abuse Prevention.
We are close to being out of time, but I would just like to give another thanks to all of our award recipients tonight. How about a big round of applause for everyone?
You have truly made a difference in our communities and all of your work is sincerely appreciated. With that we will close this 14th annual Exemplary Substance Abuse Prevention Awards Ceremony.