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Miami-Dade Students Present on Drug Prevention Efforts in Their Schools and Communities

Posted by Informed Families on May 27, 2019 at 12:16 PM

“I learned how to handle peer pressure and say no to drugs.”

“I didn’t know people could die from alcohol poisoning.”

“I didn’t know how much of a problem prescription drug abuse was.”

“Many of our peers are dealing with drug issues themselves or have a family member with a problem.”

Student ambassadors in the Miami-Dade County Public Schools Creating Community Change: Youth Engagement Program (CCC:YEP) program shared these messages and much more during their end of the year presentations at the Betty T. Ferguson Center in Miami Gardens on May 22, 23 and 24. 

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Topics: red ribbon week, ambassadors, prescription drug abuse, lock your meds, safe homes smart parties, middle school, peer pressure, drug free, drug prevention, parent peer group, miami gardens, miami

34th Annual Dinner at Joe's

Posted by Informed Families on May 22, 2019 at 1:26 PM

34th Annual Dinner at Joe’s Stone Crab Raises Funds to Help Kids Grow Up Safe, Healthy & Drug Free

Informed Families/The Florida Family Partnership hosted its’ 34th Annual Dinner at Joe’s on Monday, May 13. The event, chaired by Donna Abood and Michael Fay of Avison Young, raised $250,000 to support Informed Families’ statewide prevention campaigns designed to help kids grow up safe, healthy and drug free.

Close to 400 guests attended the event, including: Alfred & Pam Giganti Bunge, Nancy & Jon Batchelor, Peter & Kerrin Bermont, Al Cardenas, Armando & Maggie Codina, Susan & Jim Carr, Butch & Tammy Davis, Mary & Joel Eaton, The Honorable Norma & Eugene Lindsey, Ginger Mead, Dorothy & Aaron Podhurst,and Scott & Karla C. Richey.

Commissioner Sally Heyman volunteered as the lead maître d' at the dinner, and Kathy Fernandez Rundle drew the raffle ticket for a fabulous dinner for 20 at Joe’s won by Donna & Gordon Fales. Long time attendees Charlie and Marabel Morgan always have the most interesting guests at their table. This year, their guests included Coach Mike Rumph, Jonathan Vilma, Sean Clancy, Dina Cellini, Ross Sawitz, and most importantly, Steve Sawitz, of Joe’s Stone Crab, who has attended as a guest of the Morgan’s every year.

“We are so thankful to the individuals that support Informed Families by attending our Dinner at Joe’s, especially those that have been joining us at Joe’s since the start,” said Peggy Sapp, President & CEO. “Their generosity has allowed us to offer powerful prevention programs and initiatives designed to help kids grow up drug free.”

Visit the Dinner at Joe’s photo gallery for pictures from the event.

Informed Families thanks the following generous event sponsors:

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Topics: Joe's Stone Crab, Peggy Sapp, Florida, fundraiser

Prevention Awareness Key in Fight Against Opioids

Posted by Informed Families on April 26, 2019 at 9:15 AM

Informed Families President & CEO Peggy Sapp was invited to participate in a round table discussion about the opioid epidemic on Saturday, April 20. Organized by Congresswoman Donna Shalala, the panel was moderated by Rodrigo Lozano, LCSW, from the National Association of Social Workers and included John W. Newcomer, M.D., president and CEO of South Florida Behavioral Health Network in Miami, FL, Judge Victoria Sigler and Howard Rosen, Esq., head of narcotics in the State Attorney’s Office.

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Topics: lock your meds, prescription drugs, overdose, Peggy Sapp, drug prevention, drug use, opioids

Orlando Students Present On Drug And Alcohol Prevention

Posted by Informed Families on April 25, 2019 at 2:40 PM

On Tuesday April 16, Informed Families, in partnership with the Orange County Drug Free Coalition, MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Driving), and Florida Department of Health Orange County SWAT (Students Working Against Tobacco) held an End of the School Year Youth Ambassador Drug/Alcohol Prevention Program Wrap Up.

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Topics: orlando, drug free, drug prevention, drug use, health kids

Remembering Betty Chapman & Herta Holly

Posted by Informed Families on February 26, 2019 at 4:03 PM

Informed Families lost two cherished friends during the month of February.

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Topics: drug prevention, parents, grandparents

Announcing the 2019 Red Ribbon Campaign Theme

Posted by Informed Families on February 24, 2019 at 10:35 PM

The 2019 National Red Ribbon Week theme is: Send a Message. Stay Drug Free.™

Izabella Ware, a student from Griswold Middle School in Griswold, CT, created the winning theme for 2019 Red Ribbon Week, which takes place October 23-31. Ware's theme, "Send A Message. Stay Drug Free." was selected among thousands of Red Ribbon theme ideas submitted by students, parents, educators and members of communities across America.

The theme was announced by the National Family Partnership at the Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America Conference in early February. Griswold Middle School will receive national recognition and $500 in Red Ribbon Theme merchandise from Nimco, Inc.

The theme is a call to action to speak out in support of healthy choices. The theme is also a reminder that by staying drug free, you are sending a message to yourself and others about how much you value yourself, your overall health, your community and your future.

The annual National Red Ribbon Theme Contest, sponsored by the National Family Partnership, offers students and other prevention supporters the opportunity to be a part of history. The winning slogan will be used throughout 2019 in thousands of schools and communities across America.

As the nation’s largest and oldest drug prevention campaign, Red Ribbon Week® reaches over 80 million people each year throughout the United States.

This is the first year that a student at Griswold Middle School won the National Red Ribbon Theme contest. Izabella learned about the contest from her health teacher Kristen Butremovic, who has been celebrating the Red Ribbon Campaign for 21 years.

Want to make 2019 Red Ribbon Week the best yet? Stay tuned for the release of our 2019 Red Ribbon Week materials for your school and community. 

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Topics: red ribbon week, red ribbon theme

Family Focus: The Polewski Family

Posted by Informed Families on January 23, 2019 at 11:08 AM

“A lot of people look at addicted individuals as people who lie, steal and hurt others,” said Katie Polewski. “This was not the case with my son. He always told me the truth. I knew he was struggling when he avoided me because he couldn’t lie.”

While he started his journey of drug use with marijuana, on the night that he died, Katie’s son Derrek was using heroin. He was ready to get sober and was attempting to wean himself off the drug to reduce withdrawal symptoms. Even though he used a tiny dose that night, the heroin contained fentanyl, which is significantly more potent and often deadly.

Katie Polewski lost her son Derrek on January 16, 2016 after a long battle with addiction.

“I believe that whether or not a child starts using drugs has a lot to do with friends they make, choices they make and not being aware of the dangers,” said Polewski. “I can’t express how important it is for awareness and prevention. All three of my kids were different. They had completely different personalities and they were all raised the same…with unconditional love.”

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Topics: drug prevention, drug use, opioids, parents

Informed Families Welcomes Outstanding New Board Members

Posted by Informed Families on January 22, 2019 at 8:41 PM

Three new trustees represent organizations with a long-standing commitment to prevention.

Jessi Berrin serves as Director of Development for Baptist Health South Florida, the largest not-for-profit healthcare organization in the South Florida region spanning Monroe, Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach Counties. She is responsible for a comprehensive and robust development program with an emphasis on donor-driven philanthropy to support South Florida’s brand new, state-of-the-art Miami Cancer Institute. Jessi graduated Magna Cum Laude from the University of Florida in May 2007, with a Bachelor’s Degree in Telecommunications and an outside concentration in Business Administration. Shortly after graduating, Jessi landed a position as an Associate Producer at WPLG, Local 10 News in Miami, Florida where she wrote and produced the morning news program. In 2012, Jessi officially became a “Double Gator” by receiving a Master’s in Business Administration from The University of Florida. Berrin joined the IF Board of Trustees in January.

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Topics: prevention, volunteer, Informed Families, drug prevention

Let's Shatter The Myths About Drug Use

Posted by Informed Families on January 17, 2019 at 6:02 PM

Help youth make choices about their health based on facts, not myths.

Myths about drugs and drug use are pervasive, and for young people, it can be challenging to separate fact from fiction. Popular culture can make smoking appear commonplace. But the reality is that fewer teens than ever before are smoking cigarettes. In general, young adults tend to perceive their peers as exhibiting higher rates of drug use than what is actually occurring. Data from the 2017 Monitoring the Future study tells part of the promising story; past-year misuse of prescription opioids among 12th graders has dropped dramatically in the past 15 years, from nearly 10 percent in 2002 to 2 percent in 2017. And according to data from the 2016 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, only 1 in 100 young adults between the ages of 12 and 17 currently misuse prescription opioids.

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Topics: drug prevention, drug use, parents

Students Earn $1,000 For Their Schools In South Florida Red Ribbon Video Contest

Posted by Informed Families on December 19, 2018 at 8:10 PM

This October, students in Miami-Dade, Broward, Palm Beach and Monroe Counties competed for the title of Best Red Ribbon Week video in the Informed Families South Florida Red Ribbon Week Video Contest. The goal of the contest was for student leaders to inspire other students to make healthy choices around drugs and alcohol use in a 1-3 minute video featuring the 2018 Red Ribbon Week theme: Life Is Your Journey. Travel Drug Free.

Informed Families is thrilled to announce the two winning schools and the talented students whose works were selected by a small group of judges representing the field of media, education and prevention. 

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Topics: red ribbon, red ribbon week, drug prevention, red ribbon video contest

About Us

We teach people how to say no to drugs and how to make healthy choices. To reduce the demand for drugs, Informed Families has focused its efforts on educating and mobilizing the community, parents and young people in order to change attitudes. In this way we counteract the pressures in society that condone and promote drug and alcohol use and abuse. The organization educates thousands of families annually about how to stay drug and alcohol free through networking and a variety of programs and services .

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