Driving past the Monroe County Court House one might do a double take, thinking someone has hung their clothes out to dry on a makeshift clothesline. However, taking a second glance, you will notice the t-shirts hanging on the line are numbered one to 22 and a banner is placed on each side of the display, reading “Tobacco kills 22 Kentuckians each day” and “Need help quitting tobacco? Call 1-800-QUIT NOW.”
The CARES Youth prevention ambassadors led by CARES Youth Coordinator Kelli Smith, recently set up the display in honor of Kick Butts Day. Each t-shirt represents a Kentuckian who has lost their life each day due to tobacco use. Kick Butts Day held this year on Wednesday, March 20, is a national day of activism that empowers youth to raise awareness of the problem of tobacco use in their state or community.
Monroe County CARES was formed in 2011, through a grant, and consists of a group, united to form one integrated and coordinated union to combat the community’s drug problem. The Youth Ambassadors are the youth extension of CARES and work year-round, serving as drug prevention advocates on the local and state level.
The group is one of the very top youth prevention groups in Kentucky and have been chosen as the winners of two state awards; 2019 Smoke-Free Youth Advocates of the year and the 2019 Courage for Kids Award. After a hard day, fighting the wind on Wednesday, March 27, hanging the t-shirts and setting up the banners, hoping to bring awareness to the dangers of tobacco, the group celebrated with lunch at local eatery Swirlies.
For more information about CARES of the Youth Ambassadors contact Kelli Smith at 270-427-1232.