Dan McNeill, State Representative from the 133rd District, today donated all the proceeds from his First Annual St. Patty’s Day Campaign Fundraiser to the four school districts in the 133rd District to pay for education programs that will help to fight the Heroin and Opioid addiction problem plaguing the Lehigh Valley. The $2000 was distributed evenly to the Whitehall/Coplay, Catasauqua, Bethlehem and Salisbury school districts. The fundraiser was held on Friday, March 18, at the American Club Pavilion in Coplay. The money raised was initially going to be used to fund his re-election campaign, but at the event he announced the donation.
“This epidemic is tearing families apart throughout the Lehigh Valley, and I’d rather see the money we raised go to fighting this problem than to pay for another campaign mailer,” said McNeill. “I’m tired of hearing about another young life lost to heroin, and the money will be better spent on educating our children and young adults on the dangerous of this often deadly addiction.” McNeill decided to donate the $500 to each district in order to pay for drug education programs such as the highly effective HOPE program which not only educates children on the dangers of heroin and opioid use but educates parents about the signs of heroin and opioid abuse as well. Although he hopes that the programs are presented to all grades, he would like to see the focus on elementary school students.
McNeill has hosted two Town Hall Meetings as well as a roundtable discussion with State Secretary of Drug and Alcohol Programs Director Gary Tennis on the addiction problem. “I believe that we need to educate our students on the dangers of these drugs. If we can convince just one young adult to say “no,” it will be worth it. If you don’t already know someone who is affected by this problem, within five years, you will. It could be your family member, your friend, your co-worker, or your neighbor. We have to fight this as a community, and I believe we have to educate our kids as early as possible to keep them off this dangerous path,” concluded McNeill.
Information and photos provided by:
Friends of Dan McNeill