Community march planned for May 26

Monika Spaulding, Digital Editor

Hoping to take a stand against drugs, a community March Against Addiction has been planned for Saturday, May 26, at 8 a.m.

The march will start and end at the YMCA and go along the city walking path and Salem High School track.

Those participating are asked to make a meaningful donation on the day of the event to support substance abuse in Washington County. Checks should be made to Washington County Substance Abuse Council (WCSAC).

Steve Crane, who is a member of the Substance Abuse Task Force, is one of the organizers.

“Being a school teacher and a Salem City Council member, I see all too well what the ‘drug’ problem is doing to our community, especially our children,” he said. “I get very sad when I hear about anyone, especially former students of mine, who have made bad decisions and end up in jail.”

He said he remembers his former students as they once were, innocent children enjoying their childhood, smiling and happy. 

“Then I see their unhappy faces after they turn to drugs and end up in jail,” said Crane. “I guess after a while I just decided to try and help in any way I could.”

In January, Crane joined an addiction prevention coalition group, Align Southern Indiana. This group consists of people from five nearby counties: Clark, Scott, Floyd, Scott, and Washington. 

“Basically, we are meeting to involve all of these communities in aligning their resources to advance the public good,” he said. “In part, this can help allow people better avenues for success after being incarcerated. Obviously, there is no one single answer to the problem. Although, through collaboration with these other counties, Washington County will have better ways in which to help its citizens. We are in the early stages of this process, so time will tell. Our county, specifically our children, are worth the effort.”

Crane said he had heard about other communities doing walks or marches and thought it could work for Washington County. 

“I also thought it would be neat to have the march on graduation day signifying a critical link between the YMCA and walking path, which represents our community, and the high school track, which represents our students, children, who are the future of Washington County!” he said.

Crane said Kristy Purlee has also been a huge help in organizing the event, along with Melissa Thompson. 

“It is our thought to make this an annual event bigger and better each year and we are hoping for good weather and a good turnout, at least 100 people,” he said. “We also would like to cordially invite any Washington County 2018 graduate to participate. After all, they are our future!”

The March Against Addiction will begin at the YMCA with some brief testimonies and prayer. The group will then go down the walking path to the Salem Middle School parking lot and cross Homer Street into the SHS football field/track area. After a lap around the track the march will return the same way back to the YMCA. 

“We feel that the course symbolically joins our community in a special way with our future-our children,” said Crane. “We also wanted to have the march in May, signifying the Mayday or emergency our community is experiencing.

“We hope the march sends a message of hope, caring, and compassion, without judgement  for each and every citizen of Washington County!”


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