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Informed Families Blog

President's Message - April 2020

Posted by Peggy B. Sapp, President & CEO on April 1, 2020 at 8:00 AM

Adapting to Change…who likes it? The Answer…no one!

Adapting to the shelter-in-place order forced on us during the COVID-19 crisis is showing some early adapters: the winners are colleges and schools making the switch from sitting in a classroom to having the classroom on your laptop. Hats off to you!

One of my college-age granddaughters sent me a text yesterday, but when I called her back (generational thing) she replied back via text: I’m in class can’t talk right now.

Many schools are requiring the students to show up for their online classes in their school uniforms or in the school’s dress code. Schools are getting on with business, the content is the same, but the delivery is different.

Informed Families was scheduled to be closed for Spring Break this past week, but we canceled it. Why? So we could get our Lock Your Meds curriculum online and ready to use when Miami-Dade County public schools reopened on March 30. Schools, teachers, parents and students rely on Informed Families to provide them the latest information, tips, and resources to keep kids safe, healthy & drug free.

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Topics: President's Message, education, Webinars, prescription drug abuse, lock your meds, teacher tools, lesson plan template, Peggy Sapp, social media, Covid-19

President's Message - March 2020

Posted by Peggy B. Sapp, President & CEO on March 2, 2020 at 8:00 AM

While the Media Was Focused on Opioids Look What Happened

While the media has been focused on the opioid crisis, the number of alcohol-related deaths more than doubled from 35,914 in 1999 to 72,558 in 2017. Women have been impacted the most.

According Dr. George F. Koob, National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) Director, “alcohol is a growing women’s health issue. The rapid increase in deaths involving alcohol among women is troubling and parallels the increases in alcohol consumption among women over the past few decades.”

Trends like Mommy wine culture, which normalizes the idea of drinking alcohol as a way to cope with stress, and sipping while shopping have become commonplace. We should always keep in mind that our kids are watching our behaviors. Do we want them to turn to alcohol as a way to escape from everyday stress or as the only way to relax and unwind?

They are bombarded with images promoting alcohol in that way already. A new report from the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs says alcohol ads are leading teens to drink. A study in the Preventive Medicine journal found that social media could be sending out positive messaging about alcohol use as well.

Sign the Safe Homes Smart Parents pledge, and let’s work together to stem the tide of alcohol-related deaths by discouraging underage and binge drinking.  

Peggy

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Topics: President's Message, safe homes smart parties, underage drinking, alcohol, teens, binge drinking, Peggy Sapp, media, alcohol abuse

A Life Changing Event

Posted by Informed Families on February 29, 2020 at 9:00 AM

A small girl at Redland Middle School waited patiently for the other students surrounding filmmaker Erahm Christopher to leave so she could ask one question: What is the time of tonight’s screening?  I really want my Mom to come and see the film.

Informed Families partnered with Mr. Christopher to host a screening of his film LISTEN at Redland Middle School on February 6, 2020.  Themes covered in the film include bullying, cyber bullying, racism, gang violence and suicide.  Following the screening, students had a chance ask Mr. Christopher questions and voice their thoughts and feelings about the issues featured in the film. The response was overwhelming.

According to Soraya Herran, a guidance counselor at Redland Middle School, the next day “the students couldn’t stop talking about the film and discussion they had participated in.”

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Topics: communication, teenagers, middle school, teens, Peggy Sapp, drugs, drug use, mental health, suicide, Erahm Christopher

U.S. Postal Service Reveals New Drug Free USA Forever Stamp

Posted by Informed Families on November 1, 2019 at 3:54 PM

The U.S. Postal Service revealed the new "Drug Free USA
Forever” stamp yesterday in conjunction with Red Ribbon Week, the nation’s oldest and largest drug prevention program taking place each year from October 23 through 31.

Earlier this year, the National Family Partnership and Drug Enforcement Administration submitted a joint letter to the U.S.Postal Service’s Citizens’ Stamp Advisory Committee, to propose a stamp to raise national awareness about the dangers of drug misuse.

“We are delighted that the U.S. Postal Service is committed to supporting our efforts to promote drug prevention, education and awareness,” said Peggy B. Sapp, President and CEO of Informed Families and the National Family Partnership. “We all must continue to play our unique roles in spreading the word to communities about how individuals can make healthy choices.”

The Drug Free USA Forever stamp features a white star with lines of red, light blue, and blue radiating from one side of each of the star’s five points, suggesting the unity necessary at all levels to effectively address drug use. The stamp will go on sale in October 2020.

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Topics: red ribbon, red ribbon week, prevention, Peggy Sapp, dea, drug prevention, Kiki Camarena

Spotlight on Dinner at Joe's Co-Chairs

Posted by Informed Families on October 31, 2019 at 5:00 PM

Informed Families is honored that long-time supporters Richard Bermont and Adam Carlin will co-chair this year’s 35th Annual Dinner at Joe’s. Bermont and Carlin lead Bermont Carlin Wealth Management at Morgan Stanley, and they both have a strong track record of supporting charitable organizations in the Miami.

“Having Richard and Adam team up to chair our 35th Annual Dinner at Joe’s is amazing,” said Peggy Sapp, President and CEO of Informed Families. “They are enthusiastic about making this milestone dinner one of our best.”

 Bermont received the 2019 James W. McLamore Outstanding Volunteer Award by the Association of Fundraising Professionals Miami Chapter at their National Philanthropy Day event. He is a Membres de la Societe  of the United Way of Miami Dade, past chairman of the UM Citizens Board, and sponsors a week of interviews at financial institutions in New York for a group of students (Bermont/Carlin Group Scholars) attending the University of Miami School of Business.

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

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

33rd Annual Dinner At Joe's A Huge Success

Posted by Informed Families on May 16, 2018 at 12:00 AM

Dedicated Event Chair Joe Natoli & Sponsors Took Annual Event To New Heights

Miami’s finest gathered for Informed Families/The Florida Family Partnership’s 33rd Annual Dinner At Joe’s, showing their support for preventing drug problems before they start.

The illustrious event, held on Monday, May 14, was chaired by Joe Natoli of Baptist Health South Florida. Close to $250,000 was raised to support Informed Families’ statewide prevention programs and initiatives designed to help kids grow up safe, healthy and drug free.

400 guests attended the dinner, which was complete with local celebrity sightings, a pre-dinner Street Party and of course Joe’s signature stone crabs, coleslaw, hash browns, key lime pie and legendary service. Several attendees who haven’t missed a Joe’s dinner were recognized with a special pin to commemorate their commitment to Informed Families and helping kids grow up safe, healthy and drug free.

Some notable event attendees include: Betty Chapman and Dale Chapman Webb, Alfred & Pam Giganti Bunge, Penny Shaffer, Nancy & Jon Batchelor, Dorothy & Aaron Podhurst, Susan & Jim Carr, Judge Norma & Eugene Lindsey, Ginger Mead, Susan & Robin Shelley, Al Cardenas, State Attorney Katherine Fernandez-Rundle, Senator Anitere Flores and State Representative Nick Duran.

Check out the photos here.

“Informed Families focuses on addressing and preventing addiction and mental health issues among children and families by reducing risk factors and increase protective factors affecting our children,” said President & CEO Peggy Sapp. “We are so grateful to our community of Joe’s event supporters who inspire us with their outpouring of generosity and serve to remind us of the power of community involvement, which in itself is a protective factor.”

The event's success is the result of the dedication and generosity of the following sponsors:

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

32nd Annual Dinner At Joe's: A Huge Success

Posted by Informed Families on May 18, 2017 at 2:14 PM

Raising in excess of $200,000 to support Informed Families' programs to help kids grow up safe, healthy and drug free across Florida, the 32nd Annual Informed Families Dinner at Joe's Stone Crab Restaurant was a tremendous success. Long-time supporters and event co-chairs Pam Giganti-Bunge & Alfred Bunge and Dr. Linda Neider & Dr. Paul Sugrue pulled out all the stops to make the dinner the best yet.

This year’s theme was "Communities that Care," reflecting the importance and power of communities in working together to stop the spread of drug use, especially the devastating current opioid epidemic.

Aside from Informed Families, the big winner of the night was dedicated supporter Sara Herald, who won the raffle for dinner for 20 guests at Joe's Stone Crab Restaurant. Guests enjoyed a wonderful street party prior to enjoying Joe's delicious stone crabs among old friends.

Informed Families has partnered with Joe’s Stone Crab Restaurant for over three decades to help keep children in South Florida and beyond safe, healthy and drug free. Many of the annual event attendees have regularly attended since the first dinner in 1985.

The event's success is the result of the dedication and generosity of the following sponsors:

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

Sponsors Step Up To Support Annual Joe's Dinner

Posted by Informed Families on April 26, 2017 at 1:39 PM

There's still time to join the generous Joe's Dinner sponsors who are helping kids grow up safe, healthy and drug free while enjoying world famous stone crabs with friends, colleagues and family. The 32nd Annual Dinner at Joe's, co-chaired by Pam Gigante-Bunge & Alfred Bunge and Drs. Linda Neider and Paul Sugrue, will take place on May 15, 2017. Contact us about adding your name to this list of generous sponsors:

Colossal Claw Sponsors:

Baptist Health South Florida

Pam Giganti-Bunge & Alfred Bunge

Coral Gables Trust Company

EWM Realty International | Christie’s International Real Estate

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

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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