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October 31, 1997     Cape Gazette
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October 31, 1997

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22 - CAPE GAZETTE, Friday, October 31 - November 6, 1997 CAPE LIFE Sussex youth take pledge to be "Warriors for Life" By Rosanne Pack Taking a pledge to be "Warriors for Life," more than 70 young Sus- sex Countians attended the Youth Summit 1997, which was conduct- ed last week for residents of the areas included in the Strong Com- munities program. Young people came together to enjoy games, attend workshops and share a meal with community members, who led them in work- shops, and with representatives of several of the sponsoring agencies. First State Community Action Agency is contracted to administer the Strong Communities program by the Department of Public Safe- ty. The youth summit was funded by Principal Care, which provides Delaware Care, a medicaid prod- uct; the Department of Services for Children, Youth and Their Fami- lies, the Division of Family Ser- vices, the Office of Prevention through the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the Center for Substance Abuse Prevention. Danielle Robinson earns her Warrior for Life shirt with the logo that says it all, "We Fight Drugs, Tobacco and Alcohol." Principal Care provided several items to be given away in draw- ings; including bicycles, back packs, sports equipment and a computer. The young people could choose among a variety of workshop ses- sions. Session topics included teen pregnancy, HIV/AIDS prevention, services of the community polic- ing program and of emergency response teams. In all the sessions, youngsters, mostly middle-and high-school age, could make com- ments and ask questions. Ray Collins of Kent-Sussex AIDS Prevention (KSAP) said he was pleased with the knowledge that many young people already have regarding ways of preventing the spread of HIV and AIDS. He said they were interested in the topic and many made good contri- butions to the discussion after his presentation. One of the teen-agers attending the workshop that Collins led, Lamont Downing said, "We have to learn to resist temptation when we are back in our own communi- ties. We are going to face peer pressure, and if we don't resist it, we could end up with HIV or AIDS." Downing participates in the Strong Community program in Ellendale. Representing members of Emer- gency Response Teams, David Nesbitt took those attending his workshop through a step-by-step response to a drug overdose. He advised them of the measures that they can take, and demonstrated different equipment used in treat- ing those who are suffering from a drug overdose. The prevalence of drugs and how to avoid them was also included in sessions led by mem- bers of community policing teams. Cpl. Lonnie ManU talked about the Rosanne Pack photos Above, coming together for the final group session of Youth Summit 1997, Warriors for Life show off their T-shirts. Below, DSP Cpl. Lonnie Maull leads a workshop on the services of community policing at the Youth Summit 1997 for participants in the Strong Communities program. forms in which illegal substances can be found, and how to identify those who might be trying to sell drugs to youngsters in their own communities. After an afternoon of serious sessions, DJs from WDAS-105.3 FM in Philadelphia provided a musical break. Those attending the summit were invited to guess the names of songs and artists with winners receiving a variety of prizes. The prizes were donated by Principal Care. Sharon Council, community affairs assistant, said that WDAS and the DJs have been very gener- ous in supporting youth activities that are funded by the Medicaid product provider. She said, "We like to be involved in activities like this sum- mit; we like to create partnerships with the communities that we serve. These are also the same peo- ple that the office of prevention works with; it's a natural partner- ship." At the close of the summit, everyone received their own T- shirt emblazoned with "Warrior for Life." The warrior, who is armed with a sword and protected with a shield with an image of praying hands, is attacking a bot- tle of alcohol and a cigar and a cigarette. Joe Lloyd of First State Com- munity Action said, "Our T-shirts say it all for us. It's written right here on the shirt, 'We Fight Drugs, Tobacco and Alcohol.' That's the message we want these young Warriors for Life to take back to their communities." our own comfortable sluggish metabolism. A lot has changed for this holi- day over the generations. A long time ago, no one worried about costumes or curfews. Your par- ents handed you a brown paper bag and a rubber mask so thick not even the atom could penetrate it. They waved good-bye and settled in to watch the Gillette Saturday Night Fights and occasionally answer the door. You traipsed off down the street to ring doorbells and dare each other into facing that abandoned house. You knew it was time to go home when you had reached full dehydration, where all your bodily fluids ran like rivers from the heat of the rubber mask. Today a lot of teenagers wave good-bye to their parents, who leave dressed as Amy Fisher and Joey Buttafucco or The Village People to attend masquerade par- ties. The teens prefer to spend the night in front of a computer where they can electronically scare the living daylights out of employees in charge of classified documents at the Pentagon. In some parts of the country like Beverly Hills, Cali., children just fax their neighbors for candy. Hey, it's dark out there and you could miss some of those reruns from "90210." But, I always loved Halloween because as a mother you get to stick that knife, in the name of carving a pumpkin, finally through something. But as each of the children grew older and left home, the pumpkins got smaller. Until finally I was left with one lone, thimble-size orange gourd. I still celebrated, carving a nose and eyes with a cuticle scissors, but it made me feel empty, almost like Scrooge. Alone and with no other cele- brants in sight, I turned to the dog. A nice costume would be festive and make me feel part of the holi- day. It started with just a cowboy hat perched on his head and pro- gressed to a full-scale Pippy Longstocking outfit that took me two months to sew. Needless to say, the last time I saw that dog, he was getting into a car with a suitcase slung over his back. So, whatever your plans are for Halloween, whether it's being alone with your sputtering ghost candle or greeting a mob the size of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir at your door, the important thing is to celebrate. And then it's on to that turkey thing. Halloween. Tonight's the night. A celebration that caps a week- long activity of adults sneaking down to the kitchen in the middle of the night to pillage candy meant for innocent trick-or-treaters and endless runs to the grocery store to restock that supply. Some years, it seems difficult to remember exactly what night Hal- loween is observed, what with people still picturing Marv Albert's hair piece stuck to a door- knob and then adding somebody named "El Nino" to their Christ- mas list. But we have always prided our- selves on readiness. So starting in August, most of us have picked up enormous supplies of Snickers and Heath Bars at supermarket loading docks and placed them strategically around the house. And somehow those candy bars Nancy Katz have systematically disappeared, no doubt from the effects of some freakish magnetic field. But, now we finally get to bid farewell to that euphoric sugar high, adult onset ache and groan- ing scales so that we may return to AROUND TOWN It's time for that holiday, euphoric sugar high