IRON RIVER, Mich. (WLUC) - People from all over the community gathered at the West Iron County High School Tuesday night for a drug and alcohol awareness event called ‘Our Children, Our Future.’ The event was put on by the Iron County Communities That Care (CTC) in conjunction with the Aspirus Iron Area Health Foundation, and the Iron County Board of Commissioners.
"Communities That Care is a group of concerned citizens working to be sure kids growing up here in Iron County have less problem behaviors," says CTC Coordinator and Prevention Specialist, Ben Ryan.
The event included a light dinner, a K-9 unit demonstration and separate informational sessions for parents and students, including a presentation from law enforcement called 'Hidden in Plain Sight'.
"Everything is always changing. And so things that may have been going on ten years ago, it's changed. I mean now we have the cellphones, the communication; let's educate not only the students on what's going on, but also the parents with things they can look for. Especially tonight, they're going to see some things that I think are going to be very eye-opening, that's for sure. Because as the title says, 'Hidden in Plain Sight', so I think they're going to be quite surprised on the different things that are out there that kids are definitely aware of, that they just may not be. What a great time to come out and see, and they can educate themselves on it," says Trooper Geno Basanese of the Michigan State Police.
Basanese adds that these events are important, since drug and alcohol use are big problems within Iron County communities.
"It's really an issue in all the communities. So we came together, and in working together with Communities that Care, with the health department, with the Aspirus Hospital for Iron County, we've been working on what we can do to address this issue. One of the things we did is, you know, why don't we have something where the parents can come in about what's going on, and some things that they can look for," says Basanese.