Advocates against substance abuse honored at ceremony

Gratitude given by Grant County PARC

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Sarah Kehoe/Columbia Basin Herald
Residents awarded for their efforts to end substance abuse in Grant County, show off their awards during an event Thursday afternoon.

MOSES LAKE — Grant County individuals and organizations, dedicated to preventing substance abuse in the community, were honored at a ceremony Thursday afternoon.

Grant County Prevention and Recovery Center (PARC) sponsored the Bob Skidmore Recognition Event. The event has occurred for 11 years in honor of Skidmore’s son Trent.

“This is a great event because the work most of these people do is behind the scenes and goes unrecognized,” said Carolyn Pence, prevention specialist at PARC.  “This is our chance to remind them that what they do truly makes a difference and affects peoples’ lives.”

Skidmore started the event shortly after his son, Trent, was hit and killed by a drunk driver. Skidmore was an advocate for substance abuse prevention and wanted to honor those working against substance abuse, Pence explained.

Nominations were gathered county-wide in mid-April from community members working against substance abuse by promoting health youth, families and communities. Recipients’ efforts were read to the audience as they collected their awards.

Winners were Grant County District Court employee Rick Bomar, Grant County DUI Court, Big Bend Community College instructor Ryann Leonard, Doug Mitchell from the Grant County Prosecutor’s Office, Josh Sainsbury from the Grant County Sheriff’s Office, Erika Simmons from the Central Basin Traffic Safety Task Force, Leslie Tinnell from the Ephrata School District, students from the Warden Students Against Destructive Decisions club (SADD) and Theresa Fuller, public information officer at the Grant County Health District.

Pence nominated Fuller because of her efforts to teach students healthy habits, she said.

“Theresa works tirelessly to keep the community and the kids healthy,” Pence said. “She manages to always bring various groups together into one cohesive group that creates positive changes.”

Warden SADD club students were surprised to receive an award, they said.

“It feels really good because we’ve been working really hard to end substance abuse in our community,” said Leslie Estrada, 17. “We’ve held many events at our school to raise awareness.”

Paloma Dominguez, 17, commented on the high rate of drug and substance abuse in Warden.

“There’s too many drug problems in our small town and we need to stand up and end it,” she said.

Grant County PARC is located at 840 E. Plum in Moses Lake.

For more information, call 509-765-5402.

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