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Upshur County Schools counselor Larry Lance addresses the commission at its weekly meeting Oct. 21.

Commission marks Red Ribbon Week, Domestic Violence Awareness Month

BUCKHANNON – The Upshur County Commission approved proclamations for Red Ribbon Week and Domestic Violence Awareness Month.

Counselors from across Upshur County Schools attended the Oct. 21 Upshur County Commission meeting to discuss their plans for Red Ribbon Week. Upshur County Schools Counselor Larry Lance said Red Ribbon week will take place Oct. 25-29.

“It’s a celebration of being drug-free, and we have guest speakers throughout the week, we have our pro-officers, who are a big part of talking to the children, and they will be learning about the stages of addiction,” Lance said. “We also have a poster contest throughout the week.”

Lance said while the week does feature fun activities, it’s also meant to raise awareness about addiction and drug use.

“Even though we celebrate it, and we bring attention to Red Ribbon Week, we are working hard because it’s still a problem in this community,” Lance said. “We have community specialists in our schools, and they are working with the parents on these issues. We call them community specialists and they go into homes and work with families, so that’s been a big help.”

Commissioners Sam Nolte, commission president Kristie Tenney, Lance, commissioner Terry Cutright and Upshur County Schools counselors pose for a photo with the Red Ribbon Week proclamation.

The themes for the week at Buckhannon-Upshur Middle school include: wearing red on Monday for ‘I am making Really Excellent Decisions’; wearing jeans on Tuesday for ‘I’m a drug free Jean-ius’; wearing sports team shirts or jerseys on Wednesday for ‘Team up for a healthy lifestyle’; wearing bright colors on Thursday for ‘My mindset is bright’; and wearing fall or Halloween-themed clothes on Friday for ‘don’t fall into drugs.’

Counselor at Buckhannon-Upshur High School Carla McCoy said the themes at the high school will be wearing pajamas on Monday for ‘follow your dreams,’ wearing tie-dye on Tuesday for ‘Peace out on Drugs,’ Thursday is going to be Hawaii-themed with ‘lei off drugs,’ and Friday will be Halloween-themed.

The proclamation reads:

Whereas, recovery and abstinence from alcohol and other drug use is emphasized in West Virginia, it is imperative that visible unified prevention education efforts by community members continue to eliminate the effects of drugs and their use.

Whereas, the National Red Ribbon Campaign is offering citizens the opportunity to demonstrate their commitment to healthy lifestyles, including no drug use, and will be celebrating such during National Red Ribbon Week Oct. 25 through 29, 2021.

Whereas, Upshur County further commits its resources to ensure the success of the Red Ribbon Campaign.

Now therefore be it resolved that Upshur County does hereby proclaim Oct. 25 through 29 2021, as Red Ribbon Week and encourages citizens to participate in drug prevention education activities, making a visible statement that we are strongly committed to a healthy drug free state.

In other Upshur County Commission news, Addie Helmick on behalf of Centers Against Violence presented a proclamation for Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Helmick noted that between the start of October 2020 and the end of September 2021, over 200 households in Upshur County received services from Centers Against Violence.

Pictured, from left, are commission Sam Nolte, commission president Kristie Tenney, Addie Helmick with the Centers Against Violence and commissioner Terry Cutright.

The text of the proclamation appears below in full:

Whereas, family is the foundation of a safe and healthy community. It is the goal of this community for our families to be safe.

Whereas, the problem of domestic violence is not confined to any group, but crosses all economic, racial, gender, educational, religious and societal barriers.

Whereas domestic violence is widespread and devastating to society as a whole.

Whereas, the victims and survivors of domestic violence should have the support in their community to find the compassion, comfort and healing they need, and the abuser should be punished to the full extent of the law.

Whereas, between October 2020 and to the end of September 2021 over 200 households in Upshur County received services from Centers Against Violence.

Whereas, Upshur County, along with Centers Against Violence, urges community members to take this opportunity to educate themselves about the impact of domestic violence become familiar with resources, trainings, and programs available. Let us remember the victims and survivors of this community and work together to end domestic violence.

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