December 4, 2014- Last night’s Community Prevention Seminar in Benzie County was very important to me. As a native and current resident of Benzie County, I was very much looking forward to sharing this information with my home community and was looking forward to their support. The Darcy Library of Beulah was kind enough to host this seminar and had a staff member volunteer to keep the library open for the evening so that we could have this important discussion.
Several Benzie County community members were in attendance (including some of my own family members!) and were very happy that the TBCAC had chosen to host a seminar in their own community. As one of the more rural and outer-lying counties in the region, Benzie does not always have the same opportunities to receive the education and outreach that is available within Grand Traverse.
Many attendees stayed after to have conversations with me and to make suggestions about other groups within the Benzie County community that may benefit from a seminar like this. I was very inspired by the conversation and enthusiasm of this particular group and it was great to feel that our efforts are being supported by many from my home community. Our journey continues and we look forward to meeting all those willing to join the movement to protect our children!
December 3. 2014- As our home base and the community in which we currently have the greatest presence, I was looking forward to our Grand Traverse Community Prevention Seminar yesterday evening. The staff at Traverse City Michigan WORKS! was kind enough not only to host us but also to volunteer to stay after hours so that we could put on this evening seminar. We can not thank them enough for their hospitality.
I decided to open the seminar a little differently than I usually do and gave attendees the opportunity to share their motivation for attending if they wished to. Everyone one in the room chose to share and to express how grateful they were to have something like this in the community. There were educators, students, parents, and coaches present and while each had a unique reason for being there, they all shared the same ultimate goal: Keep kids safe and healthy.
This particular group had several questions regarding how our community is working to share this information with educators and medical professionals, and how we can do better with educating our children to understand their own bodies and boundaries. While we at the TBCAC have started having these conversations with many educators and medical professionals, it is important to know that the community wants this as well.
As the seminar came to a close, conversations throughout the room continued and I watched many connections being made. Thanks to the Grand Traverse Pie Company we were able to provide attendees at this seminar a “Free Slice of Pie” voucher and in exchange they all agreed to pose for the lovely photo you see above. This evening provided another great conversation and a big step in our journey to protect our children. Thank you again to Traverse City Michigan WORKS! for hosting and to all those who attended.
December 2, 2014- As I prepared for our very first Community Prevention Seminar yesterday afternoon, I began to ask myself many questions. I wondered who would come to the seminar, what questions they may ask, and what their motivation was for taking this opportunity to educate themselves about this issue. I will admit, I was quite nervous that no one would show up, that they would remain quiet during discussion, and hoped that our first seminar would be a success. What actually occurred exceeded all of my expectations.
Adults from across Leelanau County came to join us and had a lot of insight as to why it is so important to protect our kids. It is so meaningful to us that so many people in our area are coming forward and are willing to join this movement and we are thrilled to begin this journey together. The Leelanau County Government Center (pictured above) was willing to host us in their beautiful Community Meeting Room, which made for a very inviting space in which to come together and have a sincere dialogue about this issue.
As we wrapped up our session and I began putting things away, every attendee asked if they could assist me in any way and, despite my objections, proceeded to clean up, stack chairs, move tables, and help me carry all of my belongings out to my car so I did not have to be out in the parking lot alone. “After all,” one participant stated, “if we are supposed to be keeping our kids safe, shouldn’t we be keeping each other safe, too?” If this is not a true testament to the caring and compassion that exists in our region, I’m not sure what is.
I left this seminar inspired and energized, realizing that our community is ready to take this leap toward creating an environment where children are safe and nurtured so they may go on to live happy and productive lives. Many thanks again to Leelanau County for getting us off to a great start and we are looking forward to the seminars we have planned for other communities in the region!