Rowan County is one of 32 eastern Kentucky counties included in Operation UNITE programs that cover education, prevention and treatment of substance abuse.

This is the first of a four-part series of articles to highlight what the Rowan County UNITE Coalition has accomplished in 2018 and 2019.

New leaders of the coalition were elected in June 2018. John David Elam of Edgewater Recovery Centers is the chairman. Whitney Watercutter, Youth Service Center Director at the Rowan County Middle School, is the secretary. Pat Richmond, Family Resource Center Coordinator at Rodburn and Tilden Hogge Elementary Schools, is the treasurer. Tonia Fugate is the liaison with the Prestonsburg UNITE office.

UNITE Summer activities included the following:

“I Am UNITE" scholar Jordan Whitaker, Rowan County High School senior, was awarded a scholarship of $1,500 toward postsecondary education expenses.

“Shoot Hoops Not Drugs” on June 13, 2019: Rowan County Middle School hosted 163 school-age participants to learn the fundamentals of basketball from former UK basketball player Jarrod Polson. Students were given a basketball and an event t-shirt.

Camp UNITE was July 23-26, 2019 at the University of the Cumberlands for youth who completed 6th, 7th, or 8th grade during the past school year. Twenty students from Rowan County attended, which is the largest number Rowan County has ever sent.

Rowan County UNITE Coalition meetings are the last Monday of the month at noon at the Rowan County Public Library. The next meeting is Sept. 30.

The coalition is only as strong as the people who attend the coalition meetings and learn what Operation UNITE has to offer. Law enforcement officers, elected officials and local citizens are invited to attend.

September is Recovery Month, and the coalition is working with Advice Media to share information on substance abuse education, treatment and recovery.

The next article in this series will provide information on Rowan County Middle and High School Programs coordinated with Operation UNITE.

The Kentucky Help Statewide Call Center can be reached at (833) 859-4357 or (833) 8KY-HELP.

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