The Hardwick Gazette

Independent Local News Since 1889 | Hardwick, VT and Cabot • Calais • Craftsbury • Greensboro • Marshfield • Plainfield • Stannard • Walden • Wolcott • Woodbury

HLV Celebrates and Honors Local Prevention All-Stars

MORRISVILLE – Each year, Healthy Lamoille Valley honors individuals and groups that have made significant contributions in time and effort to creating environments that are supportive of youth or work towards the reduction of youth substance misuse. These Prevention All-Stars were celebrated at a Fall Coalition Meeting, on Thursday, Oct. 20, at River Arts. With about 40 community members in attendance, awards were presented to:

Sally Guebara, guidance counselor at Craftsbury Academy, for seizing opportunities to educate and engage students of all ages about substance prevention through school activities, helping with substance refusal workshops, and promoting resources and encouraging students to participate in initiatives.

Gregory Tatro of Jenna’s Promise, for organizing a series of community conversations that brought candidates and community members together from both sides of the political aisle to have a thoughtful dialogue around substance prevention and the many pathways to recovery.

Lisa Wolfgang, for her creativity and collaboration with Healthy Lamoille Valley in creating an at-home printmaking camp and hosting in-person youth classes at River Arts to encourage youth to try new things and find their creativity.

Steve Fortmann, of Hardwick, for supporting positive youth development, building protective factors for youth and creating opportunities for youth sports coaches to connect, share and learn. Fortmann was part of the team that created Healthy Lamoille Valley’s Coaches As Protective Factors handbook and he was presented with a copy as part of the evening. He is dedicated to youth substance misuse prevention as a coach, EMT, and in his work with the Hardwick Cannabis Control Commission.

David “Opie” Upson of Hardwick for being an engaged town manager who cares about all members of the Hardwick community. He started his tenure by working with the Hardwick Neighbor to Neighbor collaborative to host a series of backyard gatherings to connect with residents. He has adopted a youth prevention lens, bringing in best practices to his town. Upson demonstrates the value of community support in helping one another in building a healthy and connected community.

Other individuals awarded recognition were Margo Warden, student assistant counselor at Peoples Academy and Peoples Academy Middle Level; Linda Caldwell, creator of the TimeWise curriculum; Casey Romero and the Johnson Sk8Park & Bike Track Committee; Catherine Crawley of Stowe for being an active member of Healthy Lamoille Valley since 2018; and Michelle Salvador, with the Vermont Department of Health.

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