Awardees shine at ceremony
June 4, 2008
By Laura Geggel
It may have been a grey downpour outside, but the recipients of the Rise and Shine Breakfast Awards were beaming in Carnation’s Camp River Ranch June 3.
As guests ate a breakfast provided by Mount Si High School’s culinary class, Kristy Sullivan, executive director of the Snoqualmie Valley Community Network, accompanied by Linda Sebenius of Music Shine Media on the keyboard, kicked off the award ceremony by singing an overture about the Snoqualmie Valley community.
In addition to giving 16 awards at the 12th annual ceremony, the Snoqualmie Valley Community Network wasted no time in educating its audience about its Drug Free Communities Support Program grant and how it ties in with the results from the Healthy Youth Survey.
Jan-Olov Johansson, a grant program evaluator who works with the network, presented the survey’s results for the graduating class of 2006, starting when the class was in sixth grade in 2000.
Johansson showed how trends of cigarette, alcohol and marijuana use skyrocketed as 570 students in the Snoqualmie Valley and Riverview school districts grew older. The survey, which is administered every two years, will be given again in Oct. 2008.
Of the three, alcohol use had the highest number of users, starting with about 28 students in sixth grade reporting alcohol use in the past month and increasing to 250 students in the twelfth grade. Only cigarette use experienced a dip from 122 students reporting monthly use in tenth grade to 104 students in twelfth grade.
Yet, Johansson warned against seeing lower reported cigarette use as a sign of success.
“The tobacco industry has diversified their products. When you look at tobacco, it’s no longer just cigarettes,” said Johansson, referring to the new brand of flavored cigars and other new products containing tobacco.
The survey has shown that risk factors of substance abuse are related to WASL achievement; students involved in more risk factors tend to score lower on the test.
Johansson encouraged community members to get involved with drug-prevention programs, saying that messages of anti-substance abuse should not be confined to classroom lessons but should saturate the entire community.
“Come to the network meetings and start talking about what you would like to see and how this grant can help us to do what we do better,” he said.
The high school’s Natural Helpers advisors, Joe Galagan and Ray Wilson, received a Connecting a Caring Community award for reinstating the helpers, whose duties include programming about consequences of substance abuse. Mount Si High School had a natural helpers program from 1986 to 1993, but the program fell by the wayside when the school’s population began to spike.
“It’s nice to be honored because it recognizes the importance of the program,” said Galagan. “It means a lot to us.”
Volunteers and workers all over the valley were recognized for their dedication. Principal Tim Nootenboom honored parent volunteer Lorraine Thurston for helping with the school’s music and art curriculum.
“We don’t do enough recognition in our community and this is a really important way to recognize people who are really contributing to promote pro-social behavior for our kids,” said Sandy Smelser, Cascade View counselor. “I came to support Lorraine Thurston, who does so much for Snoqualmie Ridge community children.”
Sullivan began working on the awards ceremony with the Snoqualmie Community Network last year. Nominations begin in March.
“The whole idea is to help people feel connected to their community and to reward those who are doing good work,” Sullivan said. “These people are doing amazing things in the valley.”
Rise and Shine Prevention Scholarships
Cailee Olson — Mount Si High School
Connecting a Caring Community award
Joe Galagan and Ray Wilson — Mount Si High School Natural Helper advisors
Joe Dockery and Dave Humphrey — Mount Si Key Club advisors
Laura Geggel — SnoValley Star reporter
Rise and Shine Awards
Lorraine Thurston — Cascade View Elementary volunteer
Susan Alworth — Hopelink
Debby Peterman — Snoqualmie Hospital Advisory Board and Community Network Coalition
Connie Palazzolo — Hopelink
Nancy Whitaker — Encompass executive director