August 19, 2015 — The Cuyahoga Falls “Not Me, I’m Drug Free” anti-drug program is the winner of the 2015 Summit for Kids Business Award, recognizing significant contributions to youth in Summit County.
The Not Me, I’m Drug Free program reaches more than 500 fifth graders each year, teaching them about the dangers of drug abuse and rewarding their decisions to remain drug-free with ‘Free’-wards at community restaurants and businesses.
“The Not Me program has been hugely successful in Cuyahoga Falls, thanks to the truly inspiring collaboration that has taken place between so many organizations, businesses, people and families throughout the city,” said Mayor Don Walters, who accepted the award on behalf of the Not Me program at the sixth annual Summit for Kids Luncheon, held on Friday, August 14, at the John S. Knight Center in Akron.
According to Summit for Kids, the business award recognizes a business or organization that has made a significant contribution to children in the areas of social services, education or humanitarian services.
Not Me, I’m Drug Free represents a collaboration between the city of Cuyahoga Falls, the police and fire departments, Cuyahoga Falls and Woodridge school districts and Western Reserve Hospital.
“In the emergency room, we see the effects of drug abuse at their worst, and that is something we’re committed to reducing in our community,” said Dr. Robert Kent, president and CEO of Western Reserve Hospital. “The Not Me program is one of the most effective ways we can accomplish that mission – by educating people to stay away from drugs in the first place.”
Other 2015 Summit for Kids award recipients included the Rotary Club of Akron, Organization Award; Rachel Prior, Youth Award; and The Young Black Professionals Coalition “I Know I Can” Back to School Drive and Community Resource Fair, Event Award.
Pictured left to right: Police Chief Jack Davis; Mayor Don Walters; Kathy Romito, Community Outreach Manager, Western Reserve Hospital; Woodridge Schools Superindendent Walter Davis; Fire Chief Paul Moledor; Cuyahoga Falls Schools Superintendent Dr. Todd Nichols; and Assistant Fire Chief Fred Jackson