Healthy Choices Caring Communities (HC3) held their annual awards celebration on June 11.
As part of this celebration, there was a presentation on Fulton County Drug Court delivered by Fulton County Common Pleas Court Judge Jeff Robinson, Drug Court Facilitator Carol Tiffany, and Adult Probation Officer Shane Chamberlin. HC3 coalition members and visiting guests learned about the implementation of the Drug Court program and the large impact that this program has on the community through its work.
Immediately following the presentation Coalition Chair Sharon Morr took the opportunity to begin recognizing some of this year’s award winners, starting with the 2018-19 Coalition Champion of the Year. Coalition champions are those individuals or organizations who do not attend coalition meetings but who go “above and beyond” to support a specific strategy or coalition event. This year, they chose one Coalition Champion of the Year for each of the communities supporting Fulton County Rising Day.
Each of these organizations were chosen for their enthusiastic support of the Fulton County Rising Day campaign. From the initial ask, to the distribution of shirts, to the participation of their staff in the additional “I Rise” posters, to the pictures taken and submitted to be shared on social media, HC3 members heard; “We would love to help!”, “Our youth are our future!”, “We love being part of the community!”, “We love what you are trying to do in Fulton County!”.
The organizations recognized for this incredible support include Delta Medical Center, Fayette Normal Memorial Library, Metamora State Bank, Samuel Mancino’s Italian Restaurant, Skye Cinema, and Weeping Willow Florist.
The 2018-19 Coalition Member of the Year awards were also presented during the HC3 meeting to Kim Kinsman and Vanessa Ridley. This award is given annually to members of the HC3 coalition who have demonstrated exemplary service for the coalition and the community.
Vanessa Ridley and The Ridge Project have been supporters of HC3 for many years. She has participated on different task forces and has been a strong supporter of our Regional Learning Community efforts. HC3 members thanked Ridley and The Ridge Project for helping to develop and broaden a solid foundation for working with the community to address the issues around underage substance use.
Kim Kinsman is an outstanding coalition member who spent countless hours with our recent Fulton County Rising Day Campaign, working to develop new community partnerships, delivering t-shirts, and capturing pictures of the participants on the day of the event. It was noted that Kim has tirelessly given of her time, energy and expertise to gain a better understanding of the youth substance issues in our community and how we might work together as a community to prevent and reduce these issues.
The final awards presented by HC3 were the 2018-19 YAC Member of the Year awards. Youth Advisory Council (YAC) members were asked to submit recommendations for member of the year based on whom they thought offered the best overall contribution to the group’s success. This year’s awards recognize two exceptional members, Jacob Blanchard and Isabella Ruiz.
Jacob Blanchard is a junior at Evergreen High School and a two year YAC member who was chosen for his “always willing to help” attitude. He is a natural leader, encouraging his peers and took an active role in developing the groups vaping presentation for area school boards. Jacob has a wonderful sense of humor and brings a lot of positive energy to the group.
Isabella Ruiz, an Archbold junior and a two-year YAC member, is currently a Family Group Leader and will be joining the Leadership Board in the fall. In addition to traditional YAC activities, Isabella has chosen to attend the Youth to Youth conference, present to our legislators at Legislative Day in Columbus, and work to create and present vaping data to local school boards. Isabella is a passionate advocate for the group and for substance free youth in our community.