Project Purple launched in Sidney


By Paula Frew - For the Sidney Daily News



SIDNEY — A Project Purple update was presented during the Shelby County Drug Task Force Education and Prevention Committee meeting Tuesday.

Anne Geise, Sidney City Schools guidance counselor, discussed the dance that was recently held to promote the Purple Project initiative. There were approximately 150 in attendance.

“We had really good attendance. We had a photo booth. We had cards printed where the kids could print words to describe them, then we hung those up. We made it a formal, and it was so much fun,” said Geise.

Project Purple is a program from the Herren Project, a nonprofit foundation established by former NBA basketball player, Chris Herren. Project Purple strives to equip students with the education and support they need to realize that drugs and alcohol are not needed in order to deal with the challenges they face in life.

Geise shared that before the end of the school year there are plans to hold a fundraiser for Project Purple. It will most likely consist of an event where the staff serves the students.

“We usually do staff serving students, and they really love that. Basically, it would involve the staff serving students lunch,” said Geise.

“I saw a lot of photos out on Facebook, parents taking pictures, and they were putting them out there with #ProjectPurple or PurpleDance or PurpleProm,” added Scott Barr, executive director of the Shelby County United Way.

Barr is looking to get more local schools on board to embrace Project Purple. The goal is to have at least two more sign-on this year with 10 total in the future.

The Tri-County Board of Recovery and Mental Health Services is getting ready to begin awarding more mini grants for youth-led programs and to add programs around prom and graduation.

“We’ll support what’s already going on and add some information to those activities,” said Ian Ridgeway, prevention and wellness coordinator for the Tri-County Board of Recovery and Mental Health Services, in Troy.

Julie Clay, Shelby County Counseling Center, reported that they have been giving drug prevention presentations at some local schools and at Clear Creek Farms and the presentations have gone well.

The task force discussed plans to provide prescription drug disposal. Funding and places to install them are still ongoing.

Barr informed the committee that the website is in the planning stages and is scheduled to be up and running by April 1.

“The domain has been bought and will be at drugfreeshelbycounty.org. A grant was awarded and received, and Community Marketing is going to build it. We’ve already got the domain layout, and a group has been asked to flesh out each of the tabs. Once the website is up and running, we will start a series of PSAs (Public Service Announcements),” reported Barr.

A Community Conversation was held Tuesday night, but was not made public. The talk was targeted to local faith leaders and tailored to their specific needs. One more community talk will be held this season.

The next task force meeting will be held April 10.

By Paula Frew

For the Sidney Daily News

The writer is a regular contributor to the Sidney Daily News

The writer is a regular contributor to the Sidney Daily News