The Lacey Township Task Force is a multi-disciplinary collaboration of community leaders concerned about the growing problem of drug and alcohol abuse and its impact on our community. Our mission is to prevent substance abuse by promoting advocacy and awareness through education, community action programs and resource referrals. Since it was formed in 2012, the Task Force has been very proactive in promoting events and activities that inform residents of the danger lurking in our own backyard.
Some of our accomplishments include the installation of a Prescription Drop Box at the Police Station, sponsoring the Film Festival at the High School and a Poster Contest at the Elementary Schools. This year we participated in a campaign called "Parents Who Host, Lose the Most", translated that means that anyone hosting an underage drinking party will be subject to legal penalties. Banners were placed at the Police Station, Gille Park and the High School Football Field. One even flew over the football field, towed by an airplane of course, that was paid for by the Municipal Alliance.
As part of a multi-disciplinary approach, the Task Force also supported the creation of Lead & Seed in the Middle School. The group empowers youth and their adult mentors to build leadership skills that will enable them to develop activities aimed at increasing the perception of risk of harm from use and decreasing their use of illegal substances. The students' first project was to create a display board asking people to sign a pledge to remain drug-free. The display was placed on a float and was accompanied by the students as they marched in the Christmas Parade.
One of our big undertakings is coordinating our annual RED Night Out, "RED" stands for Reaching and Educating a Drug Free Community. Our first RED Night Out in 2013 was a huge success. One of the predominate requests made that evening was for resources for parents in case they need to know where to go for help. With that in mind, at our second RED Night Out, we offered a Resource Guide and speakers presented parents with information on where to go if they suspected a problem. The program opened with the placement of candles on eight empty chairs representing those who died the previous year from an overdose. The lit candles provided a stark reminder of the impact of addiction in our own community. Contributing to the success of RED Night Out has been reaching out to the community as a whole. In the past we have asked businesses in town to help us promote the program. Again in 2015 we will be launching a comprehensive publicity campaign to promote our "RED" Night Out program on February 11, 2015.