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DARE graduates 130 local students PDF Print E-mail
Monday, January 28, 2013 10:41 AM


DELPHOS—One hundred and thirty fifth-graders from Landeck, St. John’s and Franklin elementaries received certificates Friday afternoon as graduates of the Drug Abuse Resistance Education (D.A.R.E.) Program, while their parents, teachers and principals bore witness.

D.A.R.E., which teaches the importance of saying “no” to drugs, alcohol and other poisonous substances, aims to help children make good life choices.

The special guest speaker, Mike Hemmelgarn, used ventriloquist dummies, juggling and balloon sculptures to share a similar message.


“I’ve seen people who have gone off the deep end, people who are on drugs,” he said. “There have been a lot of movie stars and you can see how such a bright future has been wasted by not saying no to drugs.”


Hemmelgarn’s entire show was built around the idea of character and what it means to be your best self. “Character is what we are on the inside,” he said. “It’s a matter of being trustworthy, respectful, responsible, fair and caring. It’s about being a good citizen. D.A.R.E. just adds to that. It helps you make sure that you’re not going to ruin that by taking harmful substances into your body or by making bad choices.

“Saying no and having courage, sometimes it won’t be easy but even when it’s hard, even when your friends are trying to get you to do something you know isn’t right, you need to say no,” he continued. “When someone comes up to you and wants you to do drugs, you say no, you go and you tell. Tell your parents, your teachers or anyone else you trust.” Allen County Sheriff’s Sergeant Mike White, head of the Allen County program, closed the ceremony by giving advice to the graduates and their parents. “In D.A.R.E. we try to teach kids the importance of making good decisions but also the dangers of tobacco, drugs, alcohol and peer pressure,” White said. “We talk about family and friends and why they are so important. All I ask of you kids is that you make sure you take what you’ve learned and apply it to your life, make good decisions.

“To the parents,” he added. “Make sure you know what your kids are doing and who they’re hanging out with because there are definitely people out there who will talk to them if you don’t. These are the types of people you don’t want talking to your kids, so make sure you talk to them.” The students were all asked to turn in an essay as part of the program and two winners were chosen from each of the five fifth-grade classes. Winners were as follows: Lincoln Mueller and Abby Hensley (St. John’s Elementary, Mrs. Diana Wrasman); Adam Bockey and Leah Hays (St. John’s Elementary, Mrs. Sue Dew); Mattison Sair-Sevitz and Justin Mox (Landeck Elementary, Mr. Damon Ulm); Gunnar Bodine and Shelby Maloney (Franklin Elementary, Mr. Whitney Harper); and Samantha Knepper and Brady Johnston (Franklin Elementary, Mrs. Jennifer McElroy).


Last Updated on Monday, January 28, 2013 12:34 PM

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