GREENVILLE — Over 25 junior high and high school student leaders took to the floor to make introductions and a declaration to be drug and alcohol-free at the Greenville YMCA on Monday.
Those leaders are part of the Darke County We are the Majority, an after-school leadership program for students in 7th-12th grade with a focus on drug and alcohol-free peer-led prevention. They were preparing their younger counterparts, 2nd to 6th-grade students, for the third annual Snowball Day.
All the activities for the day-long event are developed by the We are the Majority student leaders, explained Kelly Harrison, Prevention Specialist, and We are the Majority adult leader, with Recovery and Wellness Centers of Midwest Ohio.
BMF Fitness sponsored this year’s Snowball Day with owners Missy and Craig Riethman in attendance. The couple’s eldest son, Kamdon, is a We are the Majority leader, with his younger sister, Hallie, a participant in the day’s activities.
The donation was part of the Main Street Greenville Pay It Forward event held during the First Friday in October, with participating businesses donating a portion of their sale proceeds to a local charity or nonprofit.
BMF Fitness donated 100 percent of its proceeds to the We are the Majority program.
“It’s not just about being drug and alcohol-free,” said Riethman, who shared their children joined the free program after they moved to Greenville three years ago. “They’re teaching the kids to have fun in a healthy manner, encouraging them to be active, and they really promote just everyday kindness, how to be good people.”
The couple, who are also We are the Majority volunteers, echoed that the program offers a positive environment for students.
“It’s also a great place for positive leaders to utilize their strengths,” said Craig Riethman, a teacher and coach for the Ansonia school district. He noted it was “neat to see the communities come together and support and lead in an organization such as” We are the Majority.
After leader introductions and a group photo, a symbolic snowball fight (albeit with wads of paper) got underway before splitting into groups to visit a variety of stations. Some of the stations included topics such as the dangers of nicotine, how to say no and utilize exercise for stress coping skills, and a cookie decorating station.
The day was also full of swimming, ball games, races, and other activities.
Harrison was elated to see so many parents supporting their children and, similar to the Missy and Craig Riethman, enjoys seeing the unity amongst the communities.
“We have representation [across the county],” said Harrison, with student leaders dedicating time to travel to Greenville to participate.
For more information on the Darke County We are the Majority program visit www.coalitiondarkecounty.com under community program or via their Facebook page Darke County We are the Majority.
Reach reporter Bethany J. Royer-DeLong at 937/548-3330 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Read more news, features, and sports at DarkeCountyMedia.com.