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The Prince Albert Raiders tackle dodgeball and drugs

Published on November 30th, 2010

Shannon Lacroix

Prince Albert Daily Herald

 

From a drug presentation to a dodgeball war, the Prince Albert Raiders talked and played with kids at Red Wing School on Tuesday to teach them important life lessons.

Brandon Herrod and Ryan Button were among the four players at the presentation. Both recently visited East Hastings Street in Vancouver, an area plagued with the homeless and drug addicts. They shared their experience with students between Grade 5 and Grade 8.

“When you got out there, you couldn’t believe what you saw — the addicts, the density of it, there was like 6,000 of them, the filth, the garbage, the rats. I mean it was pretty disgusting, but everyone we talked to were really good people, and they all wanted to get out but they didn’t have any hope,” Herrod said.

“It was a very moving experience and an experience that makes you feel very grateful for what you have in your life,” Button added. “It was definitely an experience that I’m really grateful for and one that I can share … So, hopefully if I can help at least one of these kids out or if I can help a friend back home or people that are already stuck in the situation, if I can help them get out by telling them the experience that I’ve seen, it’ll be for the better.”

Button was the butt of jokes because of his lack of dodging skills and said it’s important to have fun with the kids to help the message sink in.

“As soon as they see us sort of joke around and having fun and acting like kids, they start acting fun and start being a little more comfortable. They’ll ask more questions,” he said, “As long as the kids take out what we tell them about being safe, then that’s all we can really ask for.”

The players have visited eight of 16 schools to date. The message is an important one, as there was an increase in the amount of youth and schools seeking addictions services throughout the Prince Albert Parkland Health Region. Last year, 366 youth looked for help. The number climbed to 502 this year. In total the number of people (youth and adults) seeking help in the last two years has increased by 1,998.

 

For the full story see Wednesday’s Herald.

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