On August 15, at the historic Michigan Theater in downtown Ann Arbor, SRSLY Coalitions celebrated 10 years of empowering youth to live healthy, substance-free lives in Chelsea, Dexter, Stockbridge, and Manchester. Donors, volunteers and supporters of the organization attended a special celebration to recognize the difference the coalitions have made in the lives of young people and their families.
“Youth want to be empowered, and they want to live healthy substance-free lives, and they want to feel supported in their decision to do so,” said Reiley Curran, regional director of SRSLY, in delivered remarks. “SRSLY has been making youth feel seen, and heard, and valued, and respected, and supported, and honored for ten years. This work matters, and it is working.”
Attendees enjoyed a reception with food provided by Wesley’s Catering, a presentation, and award ceremony, followed by a special showing of the movie Shrek on the big screen. To date, SRSLY has coordinated more than 500 events for its communities with the help of 3,000 volunteers, logging a total of 50,000 volunteer hours.
Renae Kempf, a 2016 graduate of Chelsea High School, became a member of SRSLY in the 5th grade and volunteered more than 500 hours by the time she had graduated. Her participation in the program included her traveling to several states to attend workshops and trainings about prevention. She also spoke with representatives in Congress and in the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy.
“SRSLY outlined what is so clear to me now, two very distinct paths,” said Kempf in delivered remarks. “I am forever grateful to say that because of SRSLY, I chose the right one. I absolutely would not be the person I am today without those skills that SRSLY and all the people involved helped to instill in me.”
Chelsea Police Chief Ed Toth spoke about the difference SRSLY has made in the community and how grateful he is for the opportunity to build relationships and have positive contacts with youth.
“I think often times, young folks just need some support from someone who’s not mom or dad,” said Toth in delivered remarks. “Whatever they’re going through, they’re not the only one going through those difficulties, and things are going to be OK.”
To learn more about how SRSLY is making a difference for youth or how you can become involved, please contact Reiley Curran, regional director of SRSLY Coalitions, at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit SRSLYcoalition.org.
SRSLY’s mission is to empower youth to live healthy, substance-free lives by bringing the community together. SRSLY was formed in 2008 in response to local data showing that teens in Chelsea were more likely to abuse drugs and alcohol than state and national averages. SRSLY promotes positive family, school, and community involvement. SRSLY also works to limit youth access to alcohol and other drugs and to reduce parental and peer approval of youth drug use. SRSLY receives support from the Office of National Drug Control Policy’s Drug-Free Communities Program, the Community Mental Health Partnership of Southeast Michigan, the Coughlan Family Foundation, St. Joseph Mercy Chelsea, and the 5 Healthy Towns Foundation. For more information, visit www.srslychelsea.org or follow SRSLY on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.