Cambridge leaders honored for drug, alcohol prevention

Sandy Hull
Bridgeway presented certificates to seven Cambridge leaders for their assistance on a survey involving the need for alcohol and drug prevention services in the village. The certificates were presented by State Representative Don Moffitt who said if he could help in any way to let him know. Recognized were, from left, front row, Ben Franklin, Cambridge police and Danielle Ekin, village administrative assistant and back row, Ken Krueger, a school board member and local pharmacist, Jim Crouch, Cambridge mayor, Dwaine VanMeenen, former Cambridge mayor and Robert Reagan, principal of the Cambridge Jr./Sr. High School. Paula Pool, village clerk, was also recognized.

    Seven Cambridge leaders, Ken Kruger, Jim Crouch, Ben Franklin, Dwaine VanMeenen, Danielle Ekin, Robert Reagan and Paula Pool, were recognized for their assistance on a survey involving the need for alcohol and drug prevention services in the village by Bridgeway officials Monday, Aug. 18.

    Bridgeway has been offering Henry County residents alcohol, drug and mental-health counseling and is now providing a new service, substance abuse prevention.

    The organization has done the initial needs survey in six Henry County towns now — Alpha, Woodhull, Galva, Kewanee, Orion and Cambridge. The survey is done to determine where to direct prevention services, based on community awareness of problems and readiness to tackle them.

    “Cambridge is at stage three,” stated Tina Gummerson, a Bridgeway official. “Stage three is vague awareness. This means that the leaders surveyed realize that substance abuse is a local problem and they just need to work on it together. There is clearly defined and dedicated leadership in Cambridge.”

    Gummerson said the group would be surprised to learn how many communities they’ve been to that were “way less” than a three. Cambridge was at a 3.8 according to Mike Eskridge, another Bridgeway official. “You are really, really close to four, but we have to round it down to a three on paper.”

    If the leaders decide to go forward with Bridgeway’s plan, they will be in the preplanning stage of the nine step plan. Gummerson said the next step would be a meeting to hand out a book asking for certain information about the community such as the number of arrests for various offenses, substance abuse, substance abuse treatment, anti-society behaviors, suicide rates and adult usage.

    “The arrest information may be obtained from Cambridge police officer Ben Franklin,” she stated.

    The next step is preparation. Community leaders need to collect or compile data about issues related to substance abuse in Cambridge. The information gathered will prepare the group to compile strategies which will combat the substance abuse problem.

    State Representative Don Moffitt congratulated Bridgeway officials and the group for its efforts. He read a quote, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that every has.”

    Later he said “you know there’s a problem now, address it and please let me know if there’s anything I can do to help. If you address the problem there will be a lot less wasted potential out there.”