9th Annual No Drugs America Day

By Nikki Garrett Metzger

(Hesperia) – What started with a small ceremony to unveil a new billboard 9 years ago has evolved into a day in the park with games, giveaways, fun, and learning for kids of all ages at the No Drugs America Day at Hesperia Civic Plaza Park on Saturday. There is also the opportunity for kids to win a free bicycle.

“Our whole day is about prevention awareness,” said Frank Kelly, founder of the No Drugs America Association. “The whole concept of the event is to get parents and kids together in a neutral setting, where they are both relaxed, and let them learn and have fun.”

“We try to bring out young people who are positive influences. We are trying to show kids that all young folks don’t do drugs. There are more young kids that DON’T do drugs than those that do,” Kelly continued. “It is also about giving kids an alternative, like potting plants, or a bounce house, even Home Depot comes out every year and teaches them how to build something.”

Kelly started the No Drugs America Association after working with adults in drug and alcohol prevention. “After I became a drug and alcohol counselor, I found that a lot of the adults I was working with were playing games with their treatment. I thought it would be better to stop the abuse before it starts.”

Kelly believes that prevention is the best treatment. “We tell children that if you don’t start something, especially a bad habit, then there’s nothing to worry about.”

The focus now of the No Drugs America Association is going into a lot of preschools and headstarts to start talking to kids about prevention. While they are doing that, Kelly believes they are reaching their target audience, the parents. “I’m talking more to parents because if you can talk to them then they can talk to the kids. I do believe the parents are the greatest influence on the kids. The child is going to listen to their parents a whole faster than they are going to listen to me.”

The 9th Annual No Drugs America Day happens this Saturday, April 21st at Hesperia Civic Plaza Park, 15833 Smoke Tree Street. Free parking in the Hesperia City Hall parking area. Visit www.NoDrugsAmerica.org for more information.

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