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10/29/2007 12:11:00 PM  Email this articlePrint this article 
Stop Watch: Alive and active in Boone

Marilyn Green
For The Boone Standard

The Stop Watch Coalition, formed in 2006, is still in the developmental stage, but very much alive and active in Boone County.

Its members are made up of concerned and interested individuals from various groups and organizations. Their goal is to stop substance abuse that is occurring in homes and to watch families grow in a much more stronger environment. Their mission is to eliminate substance abuse and its devastating effects in Boone County.

The Stop Watch Coalition met at the Wharton-Barrett Community Center on Oct. 18, 2007.

The meeting opened up with Chairman Scott Caldwell discussing the various ways of advertisement to let the Boone County communities and families know Stop Watch exists and are in commission to reach out and help the growing needs of the county.

Secretary Tracy Lambert and Michele Baranaskas, regional executive director of the Regional Family Resource Network, continued the discussion, along with other Stop Watch members.

After looking over the many ways and means of getting the message out that Stop Watch exists and is searching for more members, Stop Watch decided the best way to inform Boone County of their existence through advertisements in homecoming programs and school yearbooks, area restaurant placemats, business cards, pamphlets and a large banner.

Stop Watch continued the meeting by discussing upcoming events that would be a benefit to our communities. Organizing the events geared towards youth and family is their main goal. They believe that youth attending event with a fun-filled atmosphere will help to eliminate crime and substance abuse.

Next spring, the communities will see first hand the newly developed Stop Watch group in action, for the group is gearing up and expanding into three areas of Boone County. They are hoping that families take some time out of their busy schedules and come to attend these events as a family activity.

Stop Watch already helped sponsor a successful event with National Night Out in August. Those who attended the event experienced what life is suppose to be about- free of hurt and pain caused from substance abuse.

The following agencies are currently actively involved in the coalition: Regional Family Resource Network, WV DHHR Boone District, WVU Extension, WV Division of Juvenile Services, United Way of Central West Virginia (which includes AmeriCorps/VISTA from Van and Wharton Family Resource centers and the Adolescent Health Director), Boone County Sheriff's Department, Victim Services, Cornerstone Family Interventions and Prestera Center for Mental Health. Many of those representing these agencies are also Boone County residents.

In addition, several adult and youth volunteers from Van, Wharton and Prenter are actively involved.

So far in 2007, Boone County Community Foundation awarded Regional Family Resource Network $2,500 for Stop Watch.

Officers for the coalition have also been elected, and are: Scott Caldwell, chair; Dan Holstein, co-chair; Tracy Lambert, secretary; and Robin Bunch Bailey, communications coordinator.

Additional funds are needed to support projects working toward Stop Watch's mission. Donations for Stop Watch may be sent to Regional Family Resource Network, which is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization registered with the Secretary of State as a charitable organization. Please be sure to designate the funds for Stop Watch.

Stop Watch meets monthly at various locations throughout Boone County.

The next meeting is scheduled for Friday, Nov. 30, at noon at Park Avenue Restaurant, in Danville. Attendees will be responsible for the cost of their lunch. Anyone interested in combating substance abuse in Boone County is welcome to attend.

For more information, contact the Regional Family Resource Network or call 304-414-4470 or e-mail executive

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