Misty Schulze: Grand Futures does a lot for community
To the editor:
I would like to address the concerns of the writer who recently noted problems in our community with underage drinking and what he or she feels is a lack of prevention effort being put forth by Grand Futures Prevention Coalition. It is always easy to criticize anonymously.
First of all, Moffat County is the second largest land mass in Colorado. What this means for the one prevention coalition in the county: There is a lot of ground to cover. Secondly, we have one employee at Grand Futures. Rather than spend our scarce grant dollars on personnel, we try to save that money for programming that directly assists young people. So when you call the office and no one answers, that’s because the director is out working in the schools, with mental health agencies, with law enforcement, with potential funders or with the kids directly. And the list can go on.
Regarding the education, activities and programming Grand Futures is partially if not solely responsible for, let me just throw out a few things: the Lasting Family Connections program, “Splash” summer activity for youths, countless dances, health class presentations, presentation of coalition materials at the county fair, spring expo and other community events, homecoming, prom and graduation media messages, liquor license compliance checks, extra law enforcement patrol for youth/school activities, training for intervention procedures, referrals for parents with concerns about their children who may be experimenting with alcohol, and partial funding and organization of Red Ribbon Week activities. Last but certainly not least, Grand Futures has a board of incredible individuals who take time out of their lives to support positive choices about drugs and alcohol by volunteering their time and expertise, helping to prevent problems created by substance abuse.
Many parents, community members, and young people do have relaxed attitudes concerning alcohol, and that is troublesome. However, we believe our young people do have “grand futures,” but it takes an entire community sharing responsibility for creating conditions that support healthy choices.
We at Grand Futures are fully aware of the issues related to alcohol in our community. But we also sleep well at night knowing that we give 110 percent of our energy to prevention efforts. What are you doing to help?
Grand Futures Prevention Coalition,
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