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Drug-free council honors local efforts at annual luncheon

The Council for a Drug-Free LaGrange County (CDFLC) recently honored several member organizations and individuals at its 22nd annual meeting in LaGrange. Forty-two people attended the luncheon at Grossmans Banquet Room and shared their enthusiasm for the awards and the overall CDFLC mission.

The council works to raise community awareness and financially support the most effective means of reducing substance abuse in the county. The annual luncheon was sponsored in part by the LaGrange County Community Foundation.

The meeting opened with a warm welcome and remarks by Jan Noble, CDFLC founding member and present chair and a counselor at Cornerstone of Recovery. This was followed by an informative and disquieting presentation on the complex mix of recent trends in local substance abuse by Ron Chupp, addictions counselor at the Northeastern Center. After the meal, CDFLC Coordinator and Healthy Families Supervisor and Family Resource Specialist Christine Swander presented this year’s awards.

LaGrange County Sheriff’s Department Communications Officer Arron Knisely was honored with the 2011 CDFLC Program of the Year Award for his law enforcement and educational work with K-9 reserve officer Kayla. Officer Knisely funds this results-driven program without cost to local taxpayers through local grants and donations.

Also honored was Westview High School junior Luke Pamer. Pamer received the 2011 CDFLC Youth Advocate Award for his volunteer public speaking efforts to educate other teens about responsible driving decisions – including the decision not to drink and drive.

Cornerstone of Recovery was recognized with the 2011 CDFLC Horizon Award for that organization’s new A and D Program. Cornerstone of Recovery offers effective addictions counseling in LaGrange County and throughout the region.

Dee Miller and Yvonne Kindy shared the 2011 CDFLC Volunteer of the Year award for their years of service at the Coconut Hut teen gathering place at the Howe United Methodist Church. At the Coconut Hut, Miller and Kindy provide afterschool activities and adult mentoring for young people in a safe and drug-free environment.

The council also chose to honor Kelly Sickafoose, community consultant for the Governor’s Commission for a Drug-Free Indiana with a plaque recognizing her years of valuable service to the CDFLC and ongoing coordination of the council’s regional anti-substance abuse efforts. Through a recent statewide downsizing within the Indiana Criminal Justice Institute, all regional Drug-Free Indiana Consultant positions have been eliminated.

For more information about the CDFLC and its work, contact CDFLC Coordinator Christine Swander at (260) 336-0942.