Get off the fence and support our children |

Get off the fence and support our children

Other Voices
Mike A. Craig

When I got the news Tuesday evening that six students at Nevada Union High School had been "busted" for trying to sell drugs, I wasn't too happy — for a few reasons.

First, those six "bad apples" were shining a very negative spotlight on the rest of our youth. Second, I knew that I'd be getting a few unpleasant phone calls (which I did) from certain citizens who were all too eager to say: "See Mike, our kids aren't as 'angelic' as you've tried to make them out to be (in your op-eds)," which is when I reminded said callers that I never said that (all of) our youth are saints because I know they aren't. In fact, I've said a few times that some of them need wake-up calls. Well, the six students involved in the bust, many of their friends (and the adults involved — let's not forget their involvement) just got "woken up."

So, like I told the annoying callers, let's move on. Besides, I also know that approximately 95 percent of our youth are amazingly gifted, caring, intelligent and loving human beings who are facing the most intense peer pressure that one could ever imagine. They are awesome people, but (sadly) many of our Nevada County citizens don't know that or even wish to see if that's the case. I guess they're "on the fence?" Why not come down off that uncomfortable fence and see for yourself what I discovered a long time ago: that today's generation of youth will do many great things to help restore our (often) misaligned country. I see it and feel it every day, whether I'm surrounded by my very bright, intuitive Sierra College classmates or the incredible youth at the OverTime and/or The Hangout. In fact, in regard to the OverTime, Hangout, why don't you (when you get down off that fence) arrange to visit one and/or both of them.

The OverTime is Friday nights (7:30-11 p.m.) at the Park Avenue gym. Contact Randy at 530-277-7166 for information. The Hangout is open daily from 2:30-6 p.m. at Grace Lutheran Church (Contact Pat 530-273-0932). And, if you visit The Hangout on a Monday, Wednesday or Friday, you'll get to see how rewarding, fun and challenging (if you're playing a game of pool or cards with them) interaction with them can be, especially when we "get on a roll."

… approximately 95 percent of our youth are amazingly gifted, caring, intelligent and loving human beings who are facing the most intense peer pressure that one could ever imagine.

Now, speaking of "rewarding, fun and challenging," I (with the help of several incredible people) have begun organizing the Walk4YouthPeace1 event (May 1-30). Details are on the website, but in a nutshell, the event is a 30-day walk-a-thon designed to accomplish the following: to increase public awareness of/raise funding for the KARE Crisis Nursery, the Friendship Club, The Hangout and the OverTime programs; to demonstrate how four youth-related agencies can work together for the greater good of all young people; and to highlight what our youth can do when we give them a positive challenge.

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Everyone I've spoken with about this event is very enthusiastic, including the "kids" and the "grown-ups." The month of May will be filled with many great adventures, and to make this event even more fun, healthy and beneficial to the entire community, we've decided to challenge everyone to "get down off that fence" and do something — Walk! For Health, 4 Fun, Walk4(youth)Peace!!!

Currently, we are seeking more business, organization, corporate sponsors for the student walkers. So far, Papa Murphy's, Briar Patch, Walker's Office Supplies, the Record Connection and Nevada County Walkers are on board. In fact, Briar Patch is sponsoring four students at 50 cents per mile and will help us with refreshments at the benefit concert. Awesome!! Any business or individual that wants to try and match Briar Patch's sponsor amount?

Further, we are seeking more walkers from everywhere — as long as the walkers know that they will have to provide their own pedometers and pledges. The idea is to add-up all the pedometer totals from everybody and see just how incredibly high those figures are — hopefully, at least 10,000 miles! Then, in a few months we'll do it again and again … Each time we'll highlight different youth organizations and have a lot of fun and be healthy doing it!

Finally, I'd be remiss if I didn't thank all of those individuals who donated to The Hangout following the "wish-list" article and to the Coalition for a Drug Free Nevada County, Republican Women's Federated the Grace Lutheran Church. Bless all of you and (again) may God bless and keep watch over all our young people, everywhere!

Mike A. Craig lives in Grass Valley.

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