To The Daily Sun,
Although the school year is over and the slower and more relaxed pace of summer is here, Stand Up Laconia is not taking the summer off, but picking up speed.
Substance misuse continues to be a significant issue here in New Hampshire. Only your involvement can help us to keep this issue on the front burner where it belongs. As we know, the effects of substance misuse reach and corrode all fibers of our community, whether it be relationships, health, safety, or our economy. Although this issue is certainly not unique to our community, our community's reaction to this issue is.
Throughout our state, people are beginning to notice Stand Up Laconia, a small but committed and growing group of people. Our mission is simple: We want the drugs out, and a safe, vibrant community back. Many of us are refusing to just close our doors and pretend it is not an issue or complaining that it is just too complex of an issue to tackle. So Laconia and Lakes Region — Way to Go.
However, we still have lots of work to do. This issue is huge and we need every member of our community to get involved. And there are so many ways to become involved. We recognize everyone's time is precious and some may have more time than others to commit to this coalition. If we all give in whatever way we can, the momentum will gain and positive changes are then inevitable.
The only thing that will decrease the impact of the coalition is feeling, "Oh it's a growing coalition and they have enough people," or "I'll get involved sometime down the road when I have time."
There are 16,000-plus people who live in Laconia. Stand Up Laconia has about 250 coalition members, and about one-third of those are active members. If with those small numbers we are making positive changes, can you imagine with a substantial amount of involvement the positive changes that would take place? A year from now this community would be a completely different place. People would be lining up to move here. This is not a dream and could absolutely be a reality. If together we make this issue a priority this summer, get involved and see what 16,000 people Standing Up together Laconia can achieve.
Here are upcoming ways for you to get involved:
— Thursday, June 18, Monthly coalition meeting at Laconia Middle School from 5:30-7 p.m.
— Thursday, June 25, Free movie event "Anonymous People" at Lakes Region Community College
— Saturday, July 4, Stand Up Laconia table at Opechee Park.
— Monday, July 6, Make A Difference Monday – Fundraiser at Winni Playhouse in Meredith.
— Aug. 4, National Night Out
These are just a few ways Stand Up Laconia is getting involved, increasing awareness and creating a louder voice to ensure our community is a leader in prevention, intervention, treatment and recovery.