NEWS RELEASE


June 30, 2009
For Additional Information:
Robert Simison, Meridian Mayor’s Office
(208) 888-4433



Meridian’s Recognize Program Gathers
Local and Regional Attention


Meridian, ID – (June 30, 2009) – On Friday June 26, 2009, Meridian Mayor Tammy de Weerd made a presentation to the Idaho Criminal Justice Commission about the Recognize program.  The Recognize program is the newest anti-drug initiative of the Meridian Mayor’s Anti-Drug Coalition (MADC) intended to educate young athletes about the dangers of drug and alcohol use.


This presentation follows the notice that the MADC Recognize program was nominated for and won the Northwest Alcohol Conference Award for the Most Innovative Program. The MADC will receive their award on Friday, July 17th, during the conference.


This acknowledgement comes after MADC was presented the “Advocate of the Year” award from the Counseling Department of Joint School District No. 2, and only a few weeks after the City of Meridian and MADC was honored with a City Achievement Award for the Recognize youth anti-drug education program. 


For the Recognize program, the MADC teamed up with Meridian Police Activities League (PAL) Football and Leadership 1st to educate youngsters about the dangers of drug and alcohol use.  Approximately 40 PAL football coaches received specialized training and materials to prepare them to lead discussions with their players about the risks of drug and alcohol use and how these substances can impact athletic performance. Young athletes who completed the program and pledged to remain drug-free were presented by Meridian Mayor Tammy de Weerd with military-style dog tags which entitle them to discounts or small rewards from participating local merchants.


Last month Mayor De Weerd received the Region 4 RAC Advocacy Award from the Idaho Conference on Alcohol and Drug Dependency in honor of her drug prevention and awareness efforts with the MADC, and in February she was honored with Drug Free Idaho’s Starfish Award. The Starfish Award is presented to annually to a local individual who has made a positive difference in the lives of others through drug-prevention education, actions, and initiatives.


“It has been truly gratifying to see the efforts put forth by the MADC and its partners in the Recognize program.  Recognition of the efforts is appreciated, but having a drug-free community where kids make right choices and are rewarded for those choices is the real reward,” said Meridian Mayor Tammy de Weerd.


Founded in 2004 by Mayor De Weerd, the MADC is a grass-roots organization comprised of approximately 50 interested individuals from the community dedicated to providing progressive leadership, education, and recourses to Meridian’s anti-drug effort.  In 2008, the MADC was recognized as an “Idaho’s Brightest Star” by Governor C.L. “Butch” Otter and First Lady Lori Otter. 


The MADC was also selected to receive a $625,000 federal grant from the national Drug Free Communities Support program last fall, which enable the MADC to strengthen its coordination and prevention efforts as it works collaboratively to prevent and reduce drug abuse in Meridian and surrounding communities.


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The City of Meridian is located at the center of the Treasure Valley in southwest Idaho, minutes from the State Capitol. Founded as a farming community in 1893 and incorporated as a city in 1903, Meridian is now one of Idaho’s largest and fastest growing communities. As the home to many young families, Meridian is a vibrant community whose mission is to be a premier city to live, work and raise a family. For more information about Meridian, visit
 www.meridiancity.org.


Editor's Note: To view this news release as a PDF, click this link or cut and paste it into your internet web browzer: http://www.meridiancity.org/uploadedFiles/News_and_Events/Recognize%20Program%20Gains%20Notice.pdf?n=2071