President Bush applauds Grand Futures’ efforts | CraigDailyPress.com

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President Bush applauds Grand Futures’ efforts

Local representative present for president's speech on nation's anti-drug efforts, signing of drug-prevention bill

By JOSH NICHOLS
Daily Press writer
Grand Futures Prevention Coalition members from Craig attended the Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America (CADCA) National Convention in Washington D.C. Dec. 12 through Dec. 14.
The coalition was one of many anti-drug organizations recently nominated for national recognition. Although the local coalition didn’t win the award, it, along with the other hundreds of coalitions in attendance, received a different treat.
The treat came from President George W. Bush, who spoke at one of the forum’s luncheons.
Kent Nielson, director of Grand Futures, was one of seven Northwest Colorado representatives who witnessed the president’s keynote speech, and he said that he was left a little awestruck.
“To us as Americans, the president is one of the most important people in the world,” he said. “I felt the genuine concern he has for us as Americans.
“He started by talking about September 11, and how the United States is fighting a war on terror,” Nielson said. “He then said we’re also fighting a war on drugs, and commended us for our efforts.
There’s a definite connection between the war being fought overseas and the war at home, Nielson said.
“It’s interesting how illegal drugs are brought into the country and the money from those drug sales provides terrorists with the money they need,” he said.
In addition to hearing the president speak, CADCA members also witnessed the signing of a bill that would allocate more money to drug prevention services in the United States.
The president is invited to the leadership forum every year, but this is the first time the president has been able to attend.
More than 1,500 community-based substance abuse prevention groups were represented at this year’s 12th annual forum.
Grand Futures Prevention Coalition educates children in Grand, Routt and Moffat counties about the dangers of drug use.
This year, the coalition was nominated for the CADCA Outstanding Coalition award.
Two people from Moffat County, two from Grand County and one from Routt County represented Grand Futures at the convention, along with two Grand County students.