Toole County’s First Annual National Night Out

Mary Miller in Shelby working for Gateway Community Services and the PFS grant recently helped organize Toole County’s First Annual National Night Out (NNO). NNO was a partnership with local law enforcement, churches, government, businesses and the medical center to celebrate with the community the importance of law enforcement in an alcohol-free celebration. The intent was to begin to change social norms since the current belief is that all Toole County events must have alcohol at it in order to “celebrate”. Mary believes NNO contributed to putting a friendly and respectful face to law enforcement and personalized the role they play in supporting a healthy and drug free community. As a border county with an active drug trade passing through, the event gave members of law enforcement a welcome respite from the very real dangers of their occupation and a chance to meet their neighbors. 

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From Montana Prevention Coalition Communication

[Montana Prevention Coalition Communication Post – April 2017]

Gaining acceptance into a close-knit, rural community as an outsider is always difficult process.  Here is my story from McCone County. ~ Melissa Kostelecky, District II Prevention Specialist.

Circle, with a population of roughly 600 people, is the McCone county seat and only town of significant size in this historic farming and ranching community. I live in Sidney, 75 miles away in Richland County. I grew up in much smaller Wibaux so I knew I could relate to a small town and was determined to see it through. In a year’s time, with trial and error, changing strategies, and locating a few kind people to carry the message without me around, we finally started to see some progress.   During that time, I developed positive relationships and reassured the community that my role wasn’t to highlight problems but to assist in finding proactive solutions and overcome barriers. Now I am privileged to have the support of the McCone County Commissioners, the Public Health Nurse, the County Attorney, the Sherriff’s Office, the Circle Country Market and most importantly, the school staff and the school board. Recently, the school board asked if I could help incorporate prevention education into the prom and all that anticipatory time leading up to it. The school board felt as though the students knew they shouldn’t drink, but would benefit from some of the reasons why they shouldn’t that they could relate to in the context of the Prom. This launched the development of our multi-pronged awareness-raising “PROMise Campaign.”    We began by creating a small card that gave 5 reasons why students should have an alcohol-free prom night, and had them attached to the prom tickets purchased by students. When the card was finished, the school board suggested a letter that could be sent home to the parents with 5 tips on how to keep their child alcohol-free on prom night. Again, this allowed them to choose the tips they felt would be a best fit for the parents of the students in their school. PROMise flyers were also created, the students placed them prominently around town and in the school. On the big night, tote bags with the PROMise logo were handed out that contained water bottles also wrapped in the logo along with other prevention education materials.

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Liquor in Teen’s Car was bought by her Dad

[Great Falls Tribune – Dear Abby]

April 22, 2017

Liquor in Teen’s Car was bought by her Dad

Dear Abby:  I have a 16 year-old stepdaughter, “Candy.” my wife recently discovered three bottles of liquor in the car Candy drives. When confronted, she told my wife the booze was for an upcoming party. We grounded her.

My wife called her ex-husband to tell him their daughter is grounded and he would have to pick her up on his visitation weekend, as she won’t be driving. He then informed my wife he was the one who bought her the booze! I’m dumbfounded and don’t know how to handle this. Please advise.

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