WEIRTON - Area fifth graders will be packing an anti-drug message when they head back to school this fall, courtesy of Never Alone WV and its community partners.
Drawstring bookbags and supplies with the "Never Alone WV/Supporting A Drug-Free Community" logo will be distributed to the youngsters at the start of the school year.
Never Alone WV President Patti Barnabei said their community sponsors - 106.3 WCDK-FM The River Radio, Weirton Medical Center, Ohio Valley Optimal Health Care, ArcelorMittal, Chaffin Luhana LLP, Donvernon Heating & Cooling and M. Ragan Sales & Service - teamed up to educate children about the importance of saying no to drugs.
ADVOCATING A DRUG-FREE COMMUNITY — Helping spread the word about their dream of a drug-free community are, in front from left, Cindy Taylor, 106.3 The River; Joey Klepack, Sports Radio WEIR; Kelly Camarote, the Chaffin Luhanna law firm; Never Alone WV President Patti Barnabei, Never Alone WV Secretary Kim Uram, and Lisa Conti, director of Physician Practices; in back, David Harrison of 106.3 The River/Sports Radio WEIR; Weirton Mayor George Kondik; Jesse Lamone of ArcelorMittal; Never Alone WV Vice President Jim Griffith and Ed Conley, representing the United Steelworkers of America. -- Linda Harris
"The River Radio partnered with us, and we were able to get sponsors to donate money to purchase an item in the book bag," Barnabei said. "The River is (advertising) their businesses and the upcoming rally. Each of the sponsors paid for their advertisments."
Weirton Medical Center supplied the drawstring bookbags with the Never Alone WV logo as well as the hospital's. Additionally, WMC allowed the group to post bulletin boards in the hospital encouraging a drug-free community.
"The boards are our new way to gather donations to help others," she said. "We have them each Friday night at the Weirton Event Center. There is a donation jar, and we ask each citizen if they would like to sign the board. After they are filled, we'll bring them up to the medical center to display."
She said The River supplied them with 25 bulletin boards for the fundrasier.
Ohio Valley Optimal Health Care's Matt Nardone purchased water bottles, while ArcelorMittal supplied folders with pamphlets detailing the signs of addiction and what to do if a problem is detected. Chaffin Luhana LLP provided hand sanitizer for each child, while Donvernon donated telephone-shaped magnets with contact information for important resources, like rehabilitation programs, poison control and emergency personnel. M. Ragan Sales & Service School Kits supplied pencils and erasers with a case.
"We will be giving out the book bags with supplies in August when the fifth graders come back to school," she said. "All fifth graders will receive a bag."