The South Eastman Rotary Club hosted a fundraiser lunch for DARE at the Mennonite Heritage Village Tuesday Afternoon.
Rotary Club President-Elect Kyler Bergen explains that the DARE program gets RCMP officers into schools in order to teach them on the dangers surrounding bullying, drugs, and alcohol. He notes that 1,100 students from all across Southeastern Manitoba were able to hear this message last year.
"And It looks like this has been our largest DARE fundraiser to date, which just means more kids are going to get into this program," says Bergen who indicates all money raised will go towards providing more classrooms in the area the opportunity to learn what DARE teaches.
The event featured several presenters, among them Hanover School Division Superintendent Randy Dueck, Community Constable Dennis Redikop, and four grade 7 students who shared what they had learned from DARE.
"The program taught me how to stay safely away from drugs and alcohol and how to address cyber-bullying, abuse, and everything like that," offers Cade Pettingr.
Another student Gunvi Mahajan adds: "I’ve learned to try my best to never go in the wrong direction by trying to be popular or cool".
In light of the recent marijuana legalization, Bergen feels the DARE program is more important than ever. Steinbach is an incredibly community-minded city, states Bergen who was happy to help raise funds for a program that can have such a positive effect on the community.
As if to echo that, Mahajan exclaims: "I really enjoyed being here, everyone was super kind and I had a great time!"