February 2 , 2017 Minutes
Submitted by Tommy Fulton, Contributing Editor
Call to Order: The meeting was called to order by President Les Greer. Kathy Miller gave the invocation, followed by Tommy Blankenship, who led us in song and the Pledge. Bill Oppenheimer accompanied on the piano.
Introduction of Guests & Visitors: Jeff Zoghby introduced our guests along with visiting Rotarians.
Student Guest: No student guest this week.
Announcements: The Rotary Youth Leadership Awards will be March 9th – 12th for High School Juniors and Seniors. See Aimee Risser or Peggy Bugg for more information. Jimmy Lyon announced that the Golf Tournament will be held on April 18th. The District Cruise will be April 27th. Ken Robinson presented an award to Robbie McClure for the Club’s financial support of the Polio program which occurred under McClure’s leadership.
Program: Jan McKay introduced Bill Alden, President and CEO of the DEA Education Foundation as our speaker.
Mr. Alden spoke about the traveling exhibit, “Drugs – Costs and Consequences”, which will be shown at the Exploreum beginning February 3rd, and continuing until Labor Day of this year. More than 7,000 school kids have been booked to view the exhibit in Mobile.
This new exhibit is a smaller, less expensive version of one that has been used in much larger venues around the country. The new version was renovated at a cost of $600,000.00, and reduced from a footprint of 10,000 sq. ft. to 5,000 sq. ft. This has made it possible to be shown in mid-size cities, of which Mobile is the first. Prior to this time, 23 million visitors have attended the exhibit.
Mr. Alden described a partnership with federal backing that has allowed the program to add a full-time administrator. The Mobile effort has found support through a steering committee and the cooperation of several media partners.
He then described some of the changes that have occurred in the techniques of drug traffickers. For example, instead of cutting the drugs with sugar, they have used very dangerous and deadly “boosters” to their drugs. These additives are designed to increase the power of the “high”, and to add to the addictive capacities of the drugs. Just last year, 53,000 victims died of overdoses, mostly from the additives to heroin and other drugs. This was more than even traffic deaths.
The exhibit has been a great way to get the conversation started between youth and their family. The largest portion of the exhibit is science-based, which seems to attract the kid’s interest more than any other feature. There is information on prevention and treatment, and each community has a personalized portion of the exhibit, which hits home for the attendees.
Mr. Alden concluded by mentioning that Jan McClure is the best Executive Director with whom he has ever worked, and that Mobile has been amazing so far as a model venue for medium sized communities. He them took questions from the audience.
Les Greer thanked Mr. Alden for his presentation and presented a certificate to him, noting that a donation in his honor had been made to the Rotary International Foundation.
The meeting was adjourned at 1:00 pm.
February 2 , 2017 Minutes