Boys & Girls Clubs members celebrate Too Good for Drugs Program

Written by Chronicle Staff. Posted in Community News & People in the News

Published on July 21, 2021 with No Comments

Outfitted in goggles that simulate the visual impairments brought on by alcohol, opioid and marijuana use, kids from across Porter and Lake counties recently gathered at Portage Boys & Girls Club to stack cups, drive model cars, and hula hoop. 

Director of Grant Operations Orlando Drummond said the event served as a fun way to reinforce the concepts taught in Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Northwest Indiana’s Too Good for Drugs and Too Good for Violence programs.  

“Too Good for Drugs is one of the most popular programs in our Clubs. It’s engaging and the kids have a lot of fun with it. They learn about the dangers of substance abuse, as well as how to develop confidence in resisting peer pressure and how to build positive relationships with their peers,” Drummond said.  

Roughly 90 kids from clubs throughout the organization participated in the event, which marked the end of this year’s program cohort. Club members ate lunch, played games, and received swag bags before being bused back to their home clubs. 

Boys & Girls Clubs Director of External Affairs Dylan McKee said club members were surprised by how difficult the goggles made performing basic tasks. 

“Every time the kids put the goggles on, they were like ‘whoa!’ Then we’d toss bean bag balls and ask them to catch only the blue ones or drive a little car down a fairly straight line, and most of them couldn’t do it,” McKee said. “It’s a good way to remind them that drugs and alcohol can not only take a physical toll in the long run, but also in the moment they can make it very difficult to function safely.” 

The event also served as a way to introduce club members to peers outside their community. 

“We are intentional about splitting club members up when they get there. We want them to go through the whole event in groups with kids from other Clubs,” Drummond said. “It’s easy for them to stick with who they know, and we really want them to branch out and meet club members from different communities. Kids from our Cedar Lake Club go through the event with kids from our clubs in East Chicago, Gary, Valparaiso. It’s a really cool opportunity for them.”  

In total, Boys & Girls Clubs was able to fill over 200 program spots with members from the organization’s nine clubs. Members participate in a weeks-long curriculum and then the organization-wide event, both of which are made possible through funding from Geminus Corporation and a grant from Supporting Addiction Free Environments (SAFE), for whom Geminus is the fiscal agent.  

Geminus Corporation’s Director of Prevention Services Eric Evans said the programming is ultimately funded through the Indiana Division of Mental Health and Addiction and that partnerships with community organizations make it possible for Geminus Prevention Services to continue their work in coalition building, programming and trainings to build safe and healthy communities throughout the region.

Traditionally, Boys & Girls Clubs has only offered the Too Good for Drugs program in its Lake County clubs. Drummond said this was the first year the program was extended to clubs in Porter County. 

“We were really excited when Geminus gave us the chance to expand,” Drummond said. “It’s a great program, and the more kids who can benefit from it, the better.”  

More club members will have the chance to participate in Too Good for Drugs and Violence, as well as next year’s event; Supporting Addiction Free Environments recently awarded Boys & Girls Clubs a $5,574 grant to continue its programming. 

Photo cutline:

Jonathan, 9, of East Chicago Boys & Girls Club drives a model car through an obstacle course while wearing vision impairment goggles as part of the Too Good for Drugs Program. 

Share This Article

About Chronicle Staff

Browse Archived Articles by

No Comments

Comments for Boys & Girls Clubs members celebrate Too Good for Drugs Program are now closed.