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June 2024 Meeting Minutes

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Empower Tusc Coalition Meeting

  • Friday, June 14, 2024
  • Meeting Minutes


  • Sgt William Bower, Ohio State Hwy Patrol
  • -Robert Bray, WBTC Radio & Media Chair
  • -Lakyn Craig, Health Educator-Tusc Co Health Dept
  • -Bill Harding, Citizen Member
  • -Heather Hill, Ohio Guidestone TTS
  • -*Bill Houglan, Citizen Member
  • -*Gail Houglan, Citizen Member
  • -*Rebecca (Bee) LeMasters, ADAMHS Board Member/Be the Mission
  • -Peggy Leslie, HARCATUS RSVP Program Director
  • -Connie Limbacher, Citizen Member & Coalition Secretary
  • -Terri Miller, Ohio Guidestone TTS & Suicide Prevention Chair
  • -Kristin Mulheman, Ohio Guidestone TTS
  • -Carson Norris, TCC Youth Advisory Council Rep
  • -Shawn Patterson, The Redeemed 22
  • Cheryl Ramos, Citizen Member & New Phila City Council Member
  • Melissa Rath, OSHP Tusc Branch
  • -Jodi Salvo, Ohio Guidestone, Dir of SUD Prevention & Coalition Coordinator
  • -Gerald Sanders, Citizen Member
  • -Sierra Schweitzer, Ohio Guidestone TTS & Y2Y Coordinator
  • -Veronica Spidell, Tusc Co JFS Ex Dir
  • Sarah Spies, United Way President
  • -*Suzanne Stull, Trinity Twin City Behavioral Health Nurse
  • -Joe Svancara, Pastor & Friends of the Homeless Shelter
  • -*Michaela Thomas, Newsymom Founder
  • Angela Toth, Empower Carroll Coalition 
  • -*Harley Wheeler, Pastor

(-) Members
(*) Present Virtually


Meeting Summary: Meeting called to order at 9:02 AM by Jodi Salvo. 26 people were present (20 Present & 6 Virtual); (21 members & 5 Non-Member) Introductions made. Approval of Minutes– Bill Harding made a motion to accept May 12th, 2024, meeting and Robert Bray seconded. All voted yes. 


Committee Reports


Executive/Steering Committee Two members were recognized: Peggy Leslie, who is retiring from HARCATUS as the RSVP Program Director and who has been with the coalition since its start. Between Peggy and the volunteers, she oversaw, much of packing, stuffing, labeling, etc. work was done. Also, Carson Norris, Our Youth Led Representative from TCC who graduated this year. Carson has been very active and an example to his peers. Both people plan to volunteer in the future as Citizen Members.


Alcohol Prevention Committee: DORA (Designated Outdoor Refreshment Areas)—Cheryl explained that there has been someone at the last 3 New Philadelphia City council meetings. She is asking that we continue sending people to speak out against DORA. A consultant has been hired to do an application for the DORA. There is a cost for the creation of the DORA. If unable to attend council meetings, you can write letters. Meetings are on the 2nd & 4th Mondays at 7:30PM.  


Faith-Based Committee Pastor Briefing— “Bridge the Gap” Bee LeMasters reported that there was a good turn out on May 20th at the Monarch Center in Dover. Eric Frederickson was the main speaker. The focus was on Addiction & Recovery and how the churches can be a unified presence to support those struggling with addiction, and our recovery community. There were approximately 40 in attendance.  Empower Tusc received $30,000.00 from the state to support Tusky Valley school district following the bus accident trauma. Funding is being used to provide prosocial activities and to connect students with trusted and caring adults during the “down times” and will continue through the summer and into the fall.  HOPE Sunday video has been completed and just needs fine-tuned. Jodi will try to get the pastors together to watch and make comments as well as to choose a name for this years video.  HOPE Sunday is the 4th Sunday of September (September 22, 2024).  Connie asked that we work to update the church info sheets that were done in 2020. This allows us to have their contact info and questions about what programs they have and their contacts. Ex: Recovery Group, Food Pantry, Youth Group etc. 


Media CommitteeRobert reported that public service radio (PSA) messages are completed and the Parents Who Host, Lose the Most (PWHLTM) PSA was sent to all 3 radio stations. The tobacco/vaping PSAs he sent Jennifer Demuth to send out and run on social media, etc.


Prescription Drug CommitteeThere was no meeting last month, but Sierra wrote a $2,500 grant for the advertising for the National DEA Drug Take Back that will be held at Cleveland Clinic Union Hospital (CCUH) in October.  


Suicide Prevention Committee—June is Men’s Mental Health Awareness Month. Terri reported that Man Therapy will continue to be the focus as Men 50+ years of age seems to be highest group of completed suicides. This helps to reduce the stigma. Pastor Wheeler has received permission to disseminate resources during the food pantry distribution. If anyone can help on Thursday evenings &/or Friday mornings at the Dover Food Pantry, it would be appreciated.  Resilience Movie will be held at the Tusc Co Public Library on Tuesday night from 6-7PM. It is free, but registration is preferred. This one-hour documentary delves into the science of adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) and the birth of a new movement to treat & prevent Toxic Stress. Popcorn & refreshments are being provided. Children ages 5-12 are welcome in the children’s area during the movie where they can participate in a craft.


Tobacco/Vaping Committee—Lakyn reported that there will be a Spokesperson Training soon. The current grant is ending, and a new grant year starts July 1st.  The campaign “Keep Playing. Don’t Vape” focuses on playing sports and band and keeping your lungs healthy.  Revisions to the strategic plan were done due to the passing of the preemption law in Ohio.  Youth to Youth(Y2Y) groups will be started in other schools focusing on middle school students and are other target population is Pregnant women roles. CVS does NOT sell tobacco products. It was asked if we have touched on online sales—and we have not.


Youth SectorSierra reported that 4 Claymont Students will be going to Y2Y Summer Conference July 10-13. 


Marijuana Committee –Heather reported that we will be doing focus groups for students in July so we will have the data we need when school starts. Volunteers are needed to do these.  We are continuing to attend city council and township meetings requesting emergency ordinances for dispensary bans since the passing of Issue 2 and the push to move recreational marijuana from September to June.  The points we are focusing on are traffic safety, workplace safety, mental health, youth use and addiction. Each jurisdiction is given information on their constituents vote on the issue, and research on negative impact on four areas of focus to include outcome data to show the increase of youth use near dispensary placement. Educational Event is being planned at Kent State Tusc Branch. 


Old Business – No Report


New Business/Upcoming Coalition Events—HIPS (Hidden in Plain Site) trailer Training—Jodi shared the slideshow presentation that we use.  We need to have at least 3 volunteers to be a part of each event. One outside, inside and at our regular booth. The intent is to educate the parents and people. Below are the future events we will be attending. The ones in Bold, if we have enough volunteers.


 Public Speaks/Organization Share

  • June 15- Newsy Towne Zoo, 11:00-3:00pm
  • June 18- Resilience Movie, Tuscarawas Public Library 6:00-7:30pm
  • June 20-22 – Tusky Days—only doing 22nd 4-8PM
  • June 29- Cy Young Parade Newcomerstown, 5:30pm with a 6:00 step-off
  • July 5- First Town Day Parade, 6:00pm with a 6:30 step-off
  • July 13- Little Twist on Mineral Festival, 4:00 with 5:00 step-off 
  • July 5-6 – Gnadenhutten Festival 
  • July 23-Big Brothers Big Sisters Waterpark Event 6-8PM Uhrichsville Waterpark
  • July 26-27 – Strasburg Summer Festival
  • August 10—State Highway Patrol Annual Community Outreach @ Salt Fork State Park 10AM-3PM Donations for the Southeastern Ohio Domestic Shelters & Food Pantries
  • Thursday evenings and Friday mornings at The Food Pantry in Dover


 Adjourn– Robert made a motion to Adjourn at 10:40AM.


Next Meeting – Hybrid Meeting

Visitor & Convention Bureau – 124 High Ave., New Philadelphia- Friday, August 9th, 2024


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