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August 2022 Meeting Minutes

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Empower Tusc Coalition Meeting

  • Hybrid Meeting @ Tuscarawas County Convention & Visitors Bureau
  • Friday, August 12, 2022


  • *-Robert Bray, WBTC Radio
  • -Katelyn Gorius, Tusc Co Health Dept
  • -Bill Harding, Citizen Member
  • *-Brian Herzog, Tusc Co Public Library
  • Bill Houglan, Citizen Member
  • Gail Houglan, Citizen Member
  • -Katie Kerns, OhioGuidestone TTS
  • -Tifanie Kukwa, Living Tree Recovery Center, Spv
  • -Rebecca LeMasters, ARK Orc
  • -Peggy Leslie, Harcatus, Civic Sector
  • *-Nicole Lewis, Springvale Dir of Pharmacy
  • -Connie Limbacher, EPT Secretary
  • -Kerry Metzger, Tuscarawas Co Commissioner, EPT Chairman
  • -Mark Murphy, Tusky Valley Superintendent
  • *-Jeff Neidig, Pharmacist/Owner Mediwise Pharmacy
  • *-Faith Nordine, OhioGuidestone Access Navigator/HopeLine Tusc & Carroll Counties
  • *-Miles Riley, Springvale Marketing
  • -Jodi Salvo, OhioGuidestone, Director of SUD Prevention
  • -Diana Smith, Springvale 
  • *-Veronica Spidell, ADAMHS Board
  • *-Tarrance Kane, Brightview Community Outreach Mgr
  • Derek Varansky, Tusky Valley Superintendent

(*) denotes online
(-) denotes members


Meeting Summary:

Kerry Metzger called the hybrid meeting to order at 9:07 AM on Friday, August 12, 2022. Introductions were made with 19 members & 3 visitors present (14 present at Tuscarawas County Convention & Visitors Bureau & 8 virtual). Bill Harding made a motion to accept the June 10, 2022 minutes with the correction of virtual meeting to hybrid meeting. Peggy Leslie seconded and all voted yes. 


Executive: No report. 


Alcohol Committee: Jodi reported that the “Talk They Hear You campaign is starting. Veronica did a great job providing press release information. A Strasburg student is recording a PSA with WJER today that will be shared on WJER and WTUZ. Veronica reported that there have been 22 people in Tuscarawas County who has taken the online ASK (Alcohol Server Training). They were unable to tell us how many establishments. Alcohol Committee does meet on Monday at 1:00 PM.


Faith Based: HOPE Sunday will be released in the churches on Sunday Sept 25th then to all on YouTube at noon that day. Connie reported that they have been able to meet with several Ministerial Associations in Tusc and Carrol to talk about HOPE Sunday and obtain churches committment without calling each church. It has been great putting names & faces together and to show the churches that we really do care. Gerald Sanders is working on contacting over 50 Carroll County churches and there are over 200 in Tuscarawas County we are attempting to contact. The “Save the Date” post card was mailed last month and the Pastor’s email sent out yesterday. We already have 1,000 bulletin inserts promised to Carroll Co and 1,000 to Tusc Co churches. Anyone wishing to volunteer & make contacts please let Connie know so the churches will not have more than one person contacting them. Jodi explained the concept of HOPE Sunday and how this is the 5th year and we take a current issue and create a video of approximately 3-7 minutes long of area people. This year the video will be clips from Mark Murphy, Judge Thomakos, Sheriff Orvis Campbell, a Youth to Youth student and another man that marijuana was his drug of choice in starting his drug use. Jodi will also be in this one to make sure viewers understand why & how we can educate others on the recreational marijuana issue that will be on the ballot next November. We will supply the churches with the video, bulletin inserts with area prayer requests & resources, as well as a pastor script that is to be read prior to playing the video. 


Marijuana Committee: The committee worked hard to prepare the following: Proposed Official Stance on the Legalization of Marijuana for Recreational Use for Empower Tusc:  “To protect Tuscarawas County youth, we strongly oppose the recreational legalization of marijuana. Scientific research indicates that adult legalization increases youth access and use. Studies show marijuana use under the age of 18 has many harmful effects and can be a barrier for young people in reaching their full potential.”  Bill made the motion to accept this proposal & Peggy seconded. All voted yes unanimously.  The committee was graciously thanked for all the hard work and time this took.  Tusky Valley—Jodi congratulated them on Sally Green on her position as President elect of the Ohio School Boards Association. It was Sally that originally brought the marijuana issue to the OSBA. Initially, no one wanted to even discuss it or recognize the issue. She re-presented this issue this month and it received 100% of the vote from leadership and will now be presented to the OSBA in November. Congratulations and a big shout out the Tusky Valley School Board for taking the lead on this effort, and Sally Green and Dick Gooding for their commitment to get this on the agenda for OSBA. 


Media Committee: the committee met yesterday afternoon. Jodi reported that Michaela & Robert Bray will be working together to get the word out regarding all our functions and press releases.


Suicide Prevention Committee: The Mental Health First Aid training for Adults is full. There are still a few spots left for the Youth Training on August 16th at Kent State. This might be something we can again offer in the future since so much interest with possibly doing virtual. The Remembrance Walk will be held on August 28th at Southside Community Park in New Philadelphia. Please share this event and attend. Our concern is whether we have been able to reach out to the right people and groups. 


Prescription Drug Committee: Jeff reported at our next committee meeting on Monday and there will be a training on Friday the 19th at Noon at the United Way Building Conference Room. This is a Train the Trainer for the Generation Rx Older Adult program, please RSVP if you would like to attend. Lunch will be provided during Friday’s training.

Tobacco/Vaping Committee—Katelyn Gorius introduced herself as the new Chair taking Autumn’s place. She reported that they would be having the Community Survey on Tobacco again. They will be sending out emails and using at the fair as they need 250 responses. Think Fast Interactive will be used at Newcomerstown, Claymont and Tusky Valley this year. This is a presentation that is for the entire student body and worked well last year with just Claymont. Alternative to Suspension is a new program that once downloaded, can be used to modify the curriculum and work with what schools would want as an in school online alternative on Nicotine. American Lung Association program with four-50 minute lessons if used as is. This is FREE. She will be sending out the schools.


Youth: Jodi reported that two students, Max and Cody, went to CADCA last month. Currently Max is the student recording the PSA for the radio today and will be on the HOPE Sunday video, as well. Both are from Strasburg. 4 Students from Claymont also went to International Youth-to-Youth (Y2Y) conference and we are  excited as this investment in youth leaders has the potential to strengthen the Y2Y programs in Strasburg and Claymont.


922 Initiative—Diana reported that August 26th will be a Resource Fair at Mako’s from 10 am to 1PM. Also, on August 31st (6-7PM) they will be having the dedication of the Community Garden. The chamber has some land already with a gazebo on it and along with some community partners, they will be able to have a memory garden and benches. October 8th is the annual craft fair in downtown Uhrichsville.


Old Business: CADCA—any member who doesn’t already receive the emails, let Jodi know so she can add you to receive. These are very informative. In addition, the Steering Committee will be provided with CADCA presentations, especially on data collection.


New Business: 


Upcoming Coalition Events- VOLUNTEERS NEEDED

  1. Strasburg (4:30-6:30) and Tusky Valley (5pm-7pm)  Back to School booth- August 15
  2. MHFA Youth/Adult Trainings- August 16 (9:30am-4pm)
  3. Commissioner’s Proclamations- August 17 (1:30pm-2pm))
  4. West Chester Day booth- August 20 (1pm-4pm)
  5. Tuscarawas Senior’s Picnic in the Park- August 23 (9am-12)
  6. Drug Take Back and Resource Fair at Mako’s- August 26 (10am-1pm)
  7. Suicide Walk in Memory event- August 28 (3:30-5pm)
  8. Project Hope Press Conference – August 31 (2pm-2:30pm)
    • International Overdose Awareness & National Recovery Month Proclamations
    • Silhouettes
  9. Twin City Memorial Garden dedication- August 31 (6:00-7:00)
  10. Tuscarawas County Fair – Sept 19-25 (3 daily shifts- 11-2, 2-5, 5-8)-sign-up link
  11. Hope Sunday – Sept 25


Peggy made a motion to adjourn and Bill seconded. All voted yes at 10:19 AM. 


Next Board Meeting will be held on Friday, September 9th from 9:00-10:30 as a Hybrid meeting at the Tuscarawas County Convention & Visitors Bureau

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