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September 2022 Meeting Minutes

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Empower Tusc Coalition Meeting

  • Hybrid Meeting @ Tuscarawas County Convention & Visitors Bureau
  • Friday, September 9, 2022


  • -Claudia Airhart, Citizen Member
  • *-Ron Bond, Tuscarawas Co Farm Bureau
  • -Robert Bray, WBTC Radio
  • *-Bridget Britton, Suicide Prevention Chair
  • -Dick Gooding, Retired Business, Tusky Valley School Board
  • -Katelyn Gorius, Tusc Co Health Dept
  • *Tayler Hamrick, COAD
  • -Bill Harding, Citizen Member
  • -David Harris, Jr, 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
  • -Peggy Leslie, Harcatus, Civic Sector
  • -Connie Limbacher, EPT Secretary
  • Katie Maurer, OhioGuidestone Access Navigator/HopeLine Tusc & Carroll Counties
  • -Kerry Metzger, Tuscarawas Co Commissioner, EPT Chairman
  • -Terri Miller, , OhioGuidestone TTS
  • -Piper Olson, Y2Y Representative, Central Catholic High School
  • -Mary Ann Otte, Citizen Member
  • -Shawn Patterson, The 22 Redeemed 
  • *-Carol Penix, Citizen Member
  • *-Tracy Penrod, Juvenile Court
  • *Cheryl Ramos, Citizen Member
  • *-Lori Robson, ESC Ex Dir of Ed Ser
  • -Jodi Salvo, OhioGuidestone, Director of SUD Prevention
  • -Gerald Sanders, Citizen Member
  • -Sierra Schweitzer, OhioGuidestone TTS
  • -Veronica Spidell, ADAMHS Board
  • *- Kane Tarrance, Brightview Community Outreach Mgr
  • *-Michaela Thomas, Newseymom
  • -Terry Wilcox, Community Hospice Chaplain

(*) denotes online
(-) denotes members


Meeting Summary:

Kerry Metzger called the hybrid meeting to order at 9:02 AM on Friday, September 9, 2022. Introductions were made with 28 members & 5 visitors present (22 present at Tuscarawas County Convention & Visitors Bureau & 11 virtual). Bill Harding made a motion to accept the August 12, 2022 minutes and Brian Herzog seconded. All voted yes. 


Executive: The Press Conference was fantastic. Spectrum 1 and WTOV 9 attended as well as all local press. 


Alcohol Committee: Veronica reported that the “Talk They Hear You” campaign is going well. There are ads in all Tuscarawas County school football programs and students are doing PSA’s with radio stations. 


Faith Based: HOPE Sunday will be released in the churches on Sunday Sept 25th then to all on YouTube at noon that day. Jodi explained the marijuana issue and how complicated it is. We cannot tell anyone HOW to vote, just educated on what is going on. Since video is completed already, we were able to watch it. Along with the Pastor’s Script that the Marijuana Committee put together, it should be a good tool. Since a toolkit has come out, we will have Josh Aul to post it on our Empower Tusc Website under the Marijuana tab. Connie read the Pastor’s Script and explained that the bulletin inserts were attached to the script & a flash-drive was put in the envelopes for each church. These are put in our yellow bag with various other agency materials. Gerald Sanders has acquired 36 Carroll County churches and currently our callers have 84 Tuscarawas County churches committed with 7,000+ bulletin inserts. The difficultly that was encountered this year was our new name. Churches were not real accepting of Empower Tusc. Feed-back was that they could identify with Tusc Co Anti-Drug Coalition, so we had to explain who we were.


Marijuana Committee: Jodi shared more on the new State Marijuana Prevention Toolkit that is now available, and it was the Marijuana Committee that helped with the Pastor’s Script. Victory Baptist Church in Newcomerstown recorded Jodi’s Marijuana presentation. It’s a little shaky, but anyone wishing to see it, Connie can send you the link. This helped to see what it would like. It is about 20 minutes long.


Media Committee: Michaela reported that the committee has decided to go back to monthly meetings. There were many press releases sent out this past month, as well. Kerry asked that the committee come up with more publicity of some kind—getting the “Empower Tusc” name out there so it will be more identifiable.


Suicide Prevention Committee: The feedback on the Mental Health First Aid training for Adults and Youth was good. There is also one for teens in grades 10-12 that is for 5 weeks. The Remembrance Walk went well. Approximately 110 attended but feel the real targeted area was not totally reached; Mary Ann suggested we focus on it being more of a Memorial/Remembering Walk but location was good. Only negative reported was that New Philadelphia didn’t mow, so grass & wasps were an issue. There were 3 Hope Squads there from area schools. 


Prescription Drug Committee: Jodi reported that the Train the Trainer for the Generation Rx Older Adult program went well. And that Saturday, October 29th from 10AM-2PM is the Fall National Drug Take Back Day. Jeff will also be presenting at the Tuscarawas County Library in New Philadelphia on October 25th, thanks to Brian for arranging.

Tobacco/Vaping Committee—Katelyn Gorius reported that they have launched the Community Survey on Tobacco again. They will be sending out emails and using at the fair as they need 250 responses. She will send to Connie to send out next week, so please take the time and fill it out. Training on the online Ohio Tobacco Quit Line is continuing. The vaping Diversion Program for Youth is available. The city of Hillard is trying it as an alternative to court. There is also an education for parents/guardians. Think Fast Interactive will be used at Newcomerstown, Claymont and Tusky Valley this year. We can add a couple more schools. It was suggested asking Indian Valley since they just put up smoke detectors and have already had 8 students set them off.  


Youth: Kerry presented Claudia Airhart a commendation for the award she was given, the first Marisa Smock Spirit Award, back in May from The Ohio Youth-Led Prevention Network. This was in honor of Marisa who passed away at the age of 19 during her freshman year in college from an asthma attack, to a young person in the state of Ohio that embodies the characteristics she did—positivity, passion for prevention, uncanny ability to make others feel like they belong, enthusiasm for leadership, and ability to bring people together. Congratulations Claudia! Claudia is also our first high school graduate coming in to be a part of Empower Tusc as an adult now. Welcome aboard! Jodi reported that the Strasburg Y2Y are meeting on both Tuesday & Friday this year and Claudia will be assisting.


922 Initiative—Jodi reported for Diana that August 31st went well. They were able to distribute 12 Narcan kits that night, 11 medication safety boxes and gave resources and information to 3 families for help. The mayor and those in attendance asked that this be made a yearly event. The Resource Fair at Mako’s on August 26th went well. October 8th is the annual craft fair in downtown Uhrichsville. Invitations will be sent out in the next couple of weeks inviting agencies to set up a table and Empower Tusc will have a booth.


Old Business: None


New Business: 


Volunteers are still needed for the Marijuana Survey Booth. The booth under the grandstand is filled. Tuscarawas County Fair – Sept 19-25-sign-up link is Jodi did a quick presentation on what and what not to say at the fair booths. We don’t want to argue or debate. What it boils down to is “Can we agree that young people should not be using or have access to marijuana?” Another point is Marijuana is #2 in addiction only behind Alcohol.


Peggy made a motion to adjourn and Dick seconded. All voted yes at 10:45 AM. 


Next Board Meeting will be held on Friday, October 14th from 9:00-10:30 as a Hybrid meeting at the Tuscarawas County Convention & Visitors Bureau

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