Four Courtenay service clubs donated over $3,400 to help Courtenay RCMP teach the internationally recognized Drug Abuse Resistance Education (DARE) program to 500 local Grade 5 schoolchildren.
The Royal Purple of Canada Lodge 158 donated $400; the Soroptimist International Club of Courtenay, $996; the Rotary Club of Courtenay, $1,500; and the Knights of Columbus, $500.
S/Sgt. Anthony Choy, the non-commissioned officer in charge of the RCMP Drug and Organized Crime Awareness Service which oversees the Courtenay DARE program, said that over 250 police officers teach DARE to thousands schoolchildren in over 90 communities throughout British Columbia.
“The DARE program equips our children with the critical thinking and life skills necessary to choose a drug-free life,” he said. “While police officers teach the program, the cost of the student learning materials is covered by community donations so the program can be offered free to all students. The learning materials cost approximately $10 per student.”
S/Sgt. Choy said DARE BC is their main partner on the DARE program. DARE BC is a registered charitable organization responsible for raising funds from within each community to cover the cost of the student learning materials.
“We are very grateful to these local service clubs for their generous donations which covered the cost of learning materials for 340 students who took the program during the 2011-2012 school year,” he said.
The founder of DAREBC, retired RCMP S/Sgt. Chuck Doucette said next year’s DARE program starts in September and will need to raise $5,000 in Courtenay to cover the cost of learning materials for the 500 students who are expected to take the DARE program.
DARE is appealing to the citizens of Courtenay to help provide the financial support needed to empower Courtenay’s schoolchildren in choosing a drug-free healthy lifestyle. Donations can be made by visiting the DAREBC website at www.darebc.com.
— Drug Abuse Resistance Education