By Janet Jacobs
Corsicana Daily Sun
The IMPACT Navarro campaign that had local leaders dressed up in superhero costumes is taking a different turn this year. Instead of the local district attorney and mayor, this year’s campaign features the mom and dad next door, sort of.
The banner and billboard campaign features “Super Citizens” Kevin Stanford, Kerens superintendent; Steve Petty, general manager of Carl White Autoplex; Maryann Hailey, vice president of student services at Navarro College; Sheriff Elmer Tanner; Dr. Bill Cook; attorney Kerri Donica; and Navarro Regional CEO Xavier Villarreal.
The 2013 campaign was kicked off Friday at the Corsicana Government Center. It’s sponsored by IMPACT Navarro, a coalition that works to prevent under-age substance abuse by working with parents and adults through the educational process, according to Alvis Reeves, coalition coordinator.
The banners and billboards are actually to gain awareness for the Navarro SafeHomes website, which is also sponsored by IMPACT, with the financial assistance of Drug Prevention Resources, Inc. The idea behind SafeHomes is to provide a directory of homes where people have promised to make sure kids will be supervised and alcohol will not be available to youth.
Raul Jimenez, who was “The Flash” in the first superheroes campaign two years ago, said it has been an effective campaign. Kids would frequently ask him about what it meant, and why he was dressed up in spandex for a cause. He used those opportunities to talk to children about avoiding drugs and alcohol.
“Kids are smart. They understand if you explain it,” Jimenez said.
The program has emphasized keeping alcohol out of the hands of children and teenagers because it’s so pervasive, Reeves said.
“Alcohol kills six times more kids than all other substances combined,” he said. “When youth use alcohol in their teens, they’re four times more likely to abuse it as adults. It means something to wait until you’re 21.”
IMPACT is also a major sponsor of the “Back to School/Stay in School Rally,” which attracted more than 2,500 people last year, and the “Those Who Host Lose the Most” campaign.
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