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Empower Tusc Honors Community Heroes at Year-End Celebration

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(Tuscarawas County) – Empower Tusc, a leading organization dedicated to substance abuse prevention in Tuscarawas County, celebrated its end-of-year party with an awards ceremony recognizing the exceptional contributions of its committee chairs and volunteers. The event, held Friday, December 15, 2023 was attended by 31 members, highlighting the collaborative spirit and dedication of the community towards a vital cause.

The “Above and Beyond” award was proudly presented to Robert Bray, in recognition of his extraordinary commitment to the cause. Shawn Patterson was named Volunteer of the Year for his unwavering dedication, while the Organization of the Year accolade was awarded to the Tuscarawas County Health Department, accepted by Lakyn Craig and Katelyn Gorius, chairs of the Suicide Prevention and Tobacco/Vaping committees, respectively.

Other notable committee chairs include Jeff Neidig for Prescription Drug Prevention, Veronica Spidell for Alcohol Prevention, Sierra Schweitzer as Youth Chair, and Carson Norris as the Youth to Youth (Y2Y) Representative from Tuscarawas Central Catholic High School.

A special tribute was paid to Jodi Salvo, Empower Tusc Coordinator, who was honored with “The Many Faces of Jodi,” a memory book comprising 60 pages with 222 pictures, celebrating her impactful eleven-year journey with Empower Tusc.

The event also acknowledged Gerald Sanders, Kerry Metzger, and Connie Limbacher for their significant volunteer contributions. Kerry Metzger, in addition to his role as Marijuana Prevention Chair, serves as the Chair of Empower Tusc, while Connie Limbacher is the organization’s Secretary.

Jodi Salvo, reflecting on the year’s accomplishments and looking ahead, stated, “As we approach the new year, it’s vital to recognize the power of local prevention efforts. Each volunteer, each partner organization, contributes significantly to our mission. The upcoming year holds new challenges, but together, we’re more equipped and inspired to face them. Let’s continue this crucial work for our community.”

The event showcased a scroll of all activities and projects undertaken in 2023, emphasizing the importance of volunteers in the organization’s success.

Empower Tusc’s unwavering commitment to drug-free youth initiatives continues to make a significant impact in Tuscarawas County. The organization extends its heartfelt thanks to all volunteers and community members who dedicate their time and resources to this cause.

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