Last updated: August 23. 2013 8:35AM - 531 Views
Agnes Hapka ahapka@civitasmedia.com

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POINT PLEASANT — Greg Fowler said at the recent meeting of the Family Resource Network (FRN) that the Synar program has been implemented and remains an ongoing project in the effort to prevent tobacco sales to minors.

Fowler, who is director of the Mason County FRN, talked to local representatives of outreach organizations Tuesday at the group’s monthly meeting. He explained that the Synar program is part of the anti-drug coalition and is run in conjunction with the state Department of Health and Human Resources.

The idea is, Fowler said, to send an underage youth out with a state police officer; the youth “tries” to purchase tobacco products and the officer observes the resulting transaction, if any. Fowler added that the business proprietors concerned have been notified that they will be fined if they sell tobacco to minors, so the point of the program is not to catch wrong-doing, but rather to verify that the strategy is working.

Also in the interests of youth, of the preschool and elementary variety, Fowler went on talk about the recent back-to-school event held last week in the parking of the courthouse in Point Pleasant. He said that New Haven organized a similar day, with both events providing back to school supplies for children. Roxanne Smith, of the Heart of Appalachia Education Opportunity Center, said that New Haven had a very good turnout.

Smith went on to say that she is looking for more people to participate in her educational opportunity program, which provides information and support to those wishing to go to college for the first time, or to return. Smith said she would like to remind people that Heart of Appalachia can now offer guidance to people who want to attend college in the spring of 2014, or those who are experiencing any trouble or confusion with the application or financial aid process.

Diana Riddle of the Mason County Health Department, said that she would like to encourage people to attend the upcoming meeting of the Anti-Drug Coalition. The meeting will be held at 5:30, Thursday, August 29, at the Mason County Library

A visitor at this month’s meeting, Billy Dillinger talked about this year’s second annual “Ride for Recovery” event, for which he is looking for bikers and recovery communities to support recovery programs. The riders will come through Point Pleasant on September 14; those who would like to participate may call Dillinger at (304)415-9342.

Bree Ramey, of the local Early Childhood Team, mentioned this month’s baby pantry event, from 1-3 p.m., August 26, at the youth center in Harmon Park. Emergency supplies such as diapers, clothing, wipes, lotion, formula, and several other items will be available to parents. The baby pantry is open during these hours on the fourth Monday of each month at the same location.

For more information on the Mason County FRN, contact Greg Fowler at frnofmasoncounty@hotmail.com.

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