Pubdate: Fri,  4 Mar 2005
Source: Decatur Daily (AL)
Copyright: 2005 The Decatur Daily
Author: Chris Paschenko
Bookmark: (D.A.R.E.)


Decatur police said a legitimate Huntsville business is donating a portion 
of its profit to a Drug Abuse Resistance Education program, but warned 
residents the money doesn't benefit local drug programs. Sgt. Greg Cain 
said MVP Distribution in Huntsville left merchandise for sale at Billy's 
Mini Market, on Sixth Avenue Southeast. Cain said police have received 
sporadic calls since January, asking if the program is legitimate.

"A representative is telling clerks the money raised will support a local 
D.A.R.E. program," Cain said. "But none of the money they raise stays 
locally, because we haven't had a D.A.R.E. program in three years." Billy's 
Mini Market owner Becky McNutt said a MVP representative came to her store 
two weeks ago, but she declined to participate. The representative returned 
Thursday, she said, and her clerk gave him permission to leave merchandise 
and an order form.

"He asked us if we could sell the items or take orders," McNutt said. "He 
said part of the money goes to local Decatur schools for their D.A.R.E. 
program. Technically, it's a legitimate thing, but to get in our door the 
guy says it's going to our schools, but it's not." Some of the merchandise 
left for sale included a remote-controlled car, books, sunglasses, watches, 
stationary and photo coasters. MVP owner John Nordlund said his business is 
a product placement service company that is affiliated with Premier Books.

"Premier Books sponsors D.A.R.E. programs nationwide," Nordlund said. "And 
has pledged $1 million to D.A.R.E. over the next four years. Generally, 20 
percent of our sales support D.A.R.E. programs. Our hope is to lower the 
cost of supplies."

Nordlund said he would speak with his Decatur representative Thursday about 
the way he informs business owners of the company's intentions. "We're very 
careful to train our guys," Nordlund said. "We stress we don't contribute 
directly to local programs. I'll talk to our route driver and find out 
exactly what he said."

Mike Duffey, manager of Decatur Decorating Center on Sixth Avenue 
Southeast, said a MVP representative visited his store Thursday. The 
representative didn't mention sales would support anything locally, Duffey 

McNutt said she removed MVP's items from her counter when she found out 
Decatur wouldn't benefit from the sales.

Nordlund said he planned to host future book fairs that would exclusively 
support local schools or hospitals.

Cain said Decatur schools dropped the D.A.R.E. program three years ago in 
favor of a federally recognized drug education program. "We have five 
school resource officers dedicated full time to teach anti-violence and 
drug prevention," Cain said. "We're using Alternative Choices Education 

The federal government established guidelines on how to use federal funds 
for drug prevention, Cain said.

"The government told the schools that use federal funds for drug prevention 
that the program had to be research based proven and effective," Cain said.

"At the time we switched to A.C.E.S, D.A.R.E. was in the process of getting 
themselves on the federal government's proven and effective list."
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