Without volunteers, Prevention Coalitions across the region would not have the success they have had. In early June, prevention coalitions from across Southwest Washington gathered at Vancouver’s Marshall Center Community Park to honor those who have contributed to the community prevention projects during the previous school year.
Nine coalitions were present from Clark, Skamania, and Klickitat counties. Each coalition presented certificates of appreciation to the following:
Prevention Coalition: Kathy McNicholas and Madison Langer
Connect Evergreen: Randy Dewater and Connect Evergreen youth volunteers including Ryan Dewater, Riley Dewater, Oliver Neves, Abigayle DeJesus-Wood, and Wyatt Lindsey
Central Vancouver: Fort Vancouver High School MEChA and Fort Vancouver High School LULAC
KLASAC: Kristen Poole and Joshua Bautista
La Center United: Kate Soske and Wyatt Manwell
One Prevention Alliance: Riley Hershberger and Colleen Wahto
Our Klickitat: Marisa Cieloha and Rita Pinchot
Prevent Together Battle Ground Prevention Alliance: Battle Ground High School Administrative Team including Principal Charb Gourde, Erick Suksdorf, Scott Yingling and Heather Ichimura as well as Jonathan Haukaas, editor of Battle Ground Reflector
UNITE! Washougal: Shayla Rae Tyner and Lisa Bennet
West Van for Youth: Latte Da Coffee House and Wine Bar and Clark College ACEs Club
Special recognition was given to Wendy Silverthorne, Connect Evergreen Coalition coordinator, as her coalition work is done. She retires from the Evergreen School District this year.
Since 2008 the coalitions have successfully decreased substance abuse in local youth with alcohol use down 44 percent, binge drinking down 50 percent, prescription pain killer misuse down 57 percent and cigarette smoking down by 62 percent. Unfortunately, marijuana use has remained a constant, but coalitions will continue their efforts to reduce use.
Christopher Belisle, Community Prevention Project Coordinator for Educational Service District 112 said, “We really appreciate the hard work and countless hours key coalition partners dedicate to building healthier communities. We’re excited to gather as one prevention community and collectively honor volunteer and partner contributions.”