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SMW_2503Stafford County DARE Day began 10 years ago as a grassroots community effort to mark the importance of making the commitment to stay drug and violence free.  You can check out tons of great photos of the event by Sandie Waters Photography HERE.

Grace Hynden, a teacher at Grafton Village Elementary School, Rebecca Childress, the Prevention Education Specialist at Quantico Family Advocacy, and Christine Hammond, a Deputy Sheriff in Stafford, were the pioneers who brainstormed, planned, and executed a day of fun and learning for every graduating DARE student in the county.

The idea was to show students the abundance of activities in our community they could become involved in to stay focused and drug-free (referred to in the DARE curriculum as "alternative activities") and career opportunites in the military, law enforcement and other exciting jobs that serve communities.

It's a day of celebration they will remember for years to come along with the message - stay drug free, make good choices, and go for your dreams!

SMW_2589The 10th Anniversary drew attention with representatives in attendance from the Governor's Office (Ken Cucinelli), the Virginia DARE Association, and many local school and government officials. Jeff Rouse, a hometown hero and Olympic gold medalist, who was on hand for the very first DARE Day, returned to remind students to surround themselves with positive, drug free friends and shoot for their dreams.

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Pouches' Community Corner

On August 17, three weeks after a routine pediatrician appointment for their then 4-month-old son, Levi, Liz and Angel Colon received news that no parent ever wants to hear: Levi’s liver wasn’t processing bile correctly, and he will very likely need a liver transplant—and time is of the essence.

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Read more about baby Levi and his family's fight for a new liver.