Pubdate: Fri, 16 Sep 2005
Source: Chillicothe Gazette (OH)
Copyright: 2005 Chillicothe Gazette
Author: Lisa Roberson
Bookmark: (D.A.R.E.)


Donations Help Program Rebound

A program threatened with extinction when the city faced massive budget 
cuts, D.A.R.E. now is thriving thanks to the generosity of community 
members and leaders.

In the months following the death of D.A.R.E. Officer Larry Cox, monetary 
donations flooded the Chillicothe Police Department. As it gears up for its 
first year without the 19-year veteran, the Drug Abuse Resistance Education 
program boasts self-sufficiency. The program utilizes a city police officer 
to teach Chillicothe students about resisting drugs, self-esteem, 
decision-making and stranger danger.

A complete list of contributions since Cox's death is not available. The 
fund is managed outside the city auditor's office, according to City 
Auditor Bill Morrissey.

"We have more than enough for us to take care of our needs for the school 
year," said D.A.R.E. Officer Robert Frizzell.

Frizzell said fifth-grade students would begin D.A.R.E. curriculum in 
January. That allows time for the newest instructor, Officer Julie Preston, 
to complete an intense two-week training program.

A donation received Thursday of more than $1,000 from the First Capital 
Rotary Club of Chillicothe can now be added to the list of contributors to 
the program. The donation of $1,068.40 is 10 percent of the funds raised 
when the Rotary raffled off a 1949 Harley-Davidson panhead motorcycle at 
the 2005 Easyriders Rodeo. John Green, of Easyriders, and Bruce Mullins, of 
Skunkworx of Columbus, donated the bike and customizations.

The donation was the best way to show Chillicothe how important D.A.R.E. 
is, said Mike Bruce, president of First Capital Rotary Club of Chillicothe.

"This is our way of helping to ensure they continue work they do," Bruce 
said. "We felt as a club we needed to do something to recognize the 
invaluable work Officer Cox has done in the community. We only hope the 
program continues to educate children on the danger of drugs, especially 
crystal meth, which seems to be the new drug of choice."

Cox, who in April was fatally shot by an alleged robbery suspect, spent his 
last years in the department working the D.A.R.E. program. However, he was 
not only there in a teaching capacity. He also befriended hundreds of 
students and spent numerous hours outside of work developing trusting 
relationships with area kids.

"The community has also been very generous in regards to the D.A.R.E. 
program, and having Larry as such a good representative of what we do in 
the community really helped us out," Frizzell said.

The program operates on a budget of between $10,000 and $14,000 each year. 
While the city does fund some of the program, without community support, it 
would cease to exist in its current capacity.

"We could present the program in a very limited fashion," Frizzell said. 
"But it's instrumental that we have the money to let more people see 
D.A.R.E. associated with the positive things it does in the community. 
Everything comes together to show them that life is about the choices you make."
- ---
MAP posted-by: Elizabeth Wehrman