Thursday, June 02, 2016
McNeill Donates Campaign Cash to Fight Heroin Addiction.
When he conducted his first ever St. Patty’s Day Campaign Fundraiser, he vowed that every penny raised would be spent on the heroin and opioid addiction epidemic throughout the state.
He's kept his word. McNeill raised $2,000 at that fundraiser, and has donated the money evenly among the Whitehall/Coplay, Catasauqua, Bethlehem and Salisbury school districts.
“This epidemic is tearing families apart throughout the Lehigh Valley, and I’d rather see the money we raised go to fighting this problem than to pay for another campaign mailer,” said McNeill. “I’m tired of hearing about another young life lost to heroin, and the money will be better spent on educating our children and young adults on the dangerous of this often deadly addiction.”
McNeill donated $500 to each of four school districts to pay for drug education seminars like Heroin and Opioid Prevention Education (HOPE). Children learn the dangers of heroin and opioid use, while their parents are educated on the signs of heroin and opioid abuse as well. Although McNeill hopes that the programs are presented to all grades, he would like to see the focus on elementary school students.
McNeill has hosted two Town Hall Meetings as well as a roundtable discussion with State Secretary of Drug and Alcohol Programs Director Gary Tennis on the addiction problem. “I believe that we need to educate our students on the dangers of these drugs. If we can convince just one young adult to say 'no,' it will be worth it. If you don’t already know someone who is affected by this problem, within five years, you will. It could be your family member, your friend, your co-worker, or your neighbor. We have to fight this as a community, and I believe we have to educate our kids as early as possible to keep them off this dangerous path,” concluded McNeill.
The Bethlehem School District check was presented to Nitschmann Middle School Principal Peter Mayes Also pictured on the left is Kathy Halkins, Supervisor of Health Services for BASD. On the Right is Vivian Robledo-Shorey, Director of Student Services and Minority Affairs for BASD.
Blogger's Note: I am sorry to have missed the actual presentation at Nitschmann. I was waiting outside the new school, which is under construction. But it was done inside the old school.