(WAPAKONETA, Ohio) – Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine praised the actions of graduate students of Auglaize County's Drug Abuse Resistance Education (D.A.R.E.) program for "paying it forward."
According to Auglaize County Sheriff Al Solomon, whose office oversees the county's D.A.R.E. program, several students raised approximately $1,000 to donate to Dayton Children's Medical Center. The money was raised by the D.A.R.E. Council, which is made up of 6th and 7th grade students who volunteer to continue working with D.A.R.E. after they've graduated from the program. The children, along with D.A.R.E. Officer Sam Blank, raised the money by selling candy, organizing a raffle and conducting various other fundraisers over the winter.
"I'm proud to hear that Ohio's children are learning so much from our state's D.A.R.E. programs," said Attorney General DeWine. "Not only do they learn the dangers of drugs, but in this case these kids have learned the value of giving back to the community."
Grants from the Attorney General's Office partially fund Auglaize County's D.A.R.E. program. Last month the Attorney General announced that 190 law enforcement agencies in Ohio would share $3.8 million to continue their in-school programs for the upcoming year.
"I'm a major supporter of the D.A.R.E. program," said Sheriff Solomon. "This contribution shows what a positive influence the program is on children, and it shows residents that the D.A.R.E. program can ultimately help the community in several different ways."
Bethany Deines, the director of annual gifts for the Dayton Children's Medical Center says the donation will be put into the hospital's "Miracle Fund" which helps pay for new medical equipment.
"We think it's really neat when we see kids helping kids," Deines said. "It can show adults the importance of philanthropy and giving, and it's great when kids are setting the example."
The children will present the money to representatives of the medical center during a telethon this Sunday.