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'Not Me, I'm Drug Free' Billboards Featuring Students, Mayor and Police Chief Call for Drug-Free Pledge in Cuyahoga Falls

The City of Cuyahoga Falls, Mayor, Police, Western Reserve Hospital and
Clear Channel team up with innovative billboard campaign featuring students

Not Me Layout White Horiz

Sept. 28, 2015 — Bold new billboards have appeared throughout the Cuyahoga Falls area, reminding students to commit themselves to remaining free from drug abuse. The billboards, which are the result of a partnership between Mayor Don Walters, Cuyahoga Falls Police and Western Reserve Hospital, continue the city’s strong stance against drugs and the ongoing success of the popular “Not Me, I’m Drug Free” program.

Displaying short, catchy slogans, such as “We Want You…To Take The Pledge,” the billboards encourage students to commit themselves to drug abstinence and take advantage of the “Free-ward” perks offered by signing a pledge card.

“Not Me works because it combines a hardline message – say no to drugs – with great rewards, positively reinforcing the idea that good things come from living cleanly,” said Mayor Walters. “We created these billboards to spread that message further and encourage more parents, families and students to think about, discuss and deflect the dangers of drug abuse.”

Dr. Robert Kent, president and CEO of Western Reserve Hospital, says the hospital is committed to supporting the anti-drug program.

“Our hospital is unique because it’s locally owned, so we have a vested interest in supporting and nurturing the health of the community in which we live,” said Dr. Kent. “Not Me is a great program that is making a positive impact in Cuyahoga Falls, and these billboards send a strong message for families and children to maintain their health by avoiding harmful drugs.”

The Not Me, I’m Drug Free program, launched in May 2014, specifically targets 5th grade students in Cuyahoga Falls City Schools and Woodridge Local Schools. It has been met with support from parents, businesses, the community and even the Ohio Governor’s office, which officially recognized the program last year.

“We specifically targeted 5th grade students because the middle and high school years are when a lot of students are confronted with drugs for the first time,” said Police Chief Jack Davis. “By reaching students positively early on, their decision has already been made. When confronted, their automatic answer is no.”

“We were excited to partner with Cuyahoga Falls to bring these billboards to life,” said David Yale, vice president of public affairs, Clear Channel Outdoor. “Thousands of people drive by these signs every day, and our hope is that the billboards serve as a reminder to parents to talk to their kids about taking the pledge and the dangers of drugs abuse.”

The billboards feature Mayor Walters, Chief Davis and several 5th and 6th grade students, including: Bethany Ross and Anthony Pestello, Richardson Elementary; Cecelia Brown, Preston Elementary; Aubrey Fox and McKayla Hollin, Elizabeth Price Elementary; Grace Beck, Silver Lake Elementary; and Jason Thompson, Madison Leslein and Anaiah Bratcher, Woodridge schools.

Western Reserve Hospital continues to provide marketing and financial support for Not Me, I’m Drug Free, as it does with several other city programs, including the Envelope of Life, a series of stickers, envelopes and documents for the car and home that help people organize their medical information for first responders during emergencies.