Our Mission: "Saving Lives By Empowering Youth To Be Drug Free And Encouraging Parents

To Communicate Effectively With Their Children About The Dangers Of Drugs"

 

Click here to download race sponsor, volunteer, participant registration form

Click here to view the letter for Ian’s Race 

Click here to for the press release





Runners go extra mile for Courage to Speak

By STEVE KOBAK hour staff writer, Saturday, July 28, 2012 

NORWALK -- Norwalker Julie Heaphy said it took her a while to warm up on a breezy Saturday morning at Calf Pasture Beach but when she did, she wound up being the first woman to cross the finish line at the 14th annual Ian James Eaccarino Memorial 9-Mile Race.

Click here to read more.


Runners start out at the 14th Annual Ian James Eaccarino
Memorial 9-Mile Race at Calf Pasture Beach Saturday.
Hour photo / Erik Trautmann 



Charlie Doyle receives recognition for volunteering at the Ian
James Eaccarino Memorial 9-Mile Race at Calf Pasture Beach
while his mom paige Doyle, mayor Richard Moccia and Larry Katz
look on Saturday.Hour photo / Erik Trautmann 



Norwalk resident Julie Heaphy was the first woman finisher at
the 14th Annual Ian James Eaccarino Memorial 9-Mile Race at Calf
Pasture Beach Saturday.Hour photo / Erik Trautmann 


Below is the Winner
 
Colin Lu comes in first place at the 14th Annual Ian James Eaccarino
Memorial 9-Mile Race at Calf Pasture Beach Saturday.
Hour photo / Erik Trautmann





Norwalk's Luis Solis, Board of Director for the Courage to Speak Foundation, honored by Kraft family foundation at the 2012 New England Patriots Myra Kraft Community MVPs Luncheon.

Solis, along with the Courage to Speak Foundation, were honored at the Myra Kraft Community MVP Award Luncheon held this week on Wednesday, June 13th at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Mass. The Courage to Speak Foundation will receive a $2,500 grant from the New England Patriots Charitable Foundation as a result of Solis's honor. 

Click here to view the Press Release

Andre Tippett,Pro Hall of Famer and former Linebacker for New England Patriots and
also, Patriots' Executive Director of Community Affairs; Luis Solis, MVP Volunteer of the
Year Award Winner; Zoltan Mesko, Punter for the New England Patriot's; Ginger Katz,
CEO and Founder of the Courage to Speak Foundation; and Joshua Kraft, President of
The New England Patriots Charitable Foundation.

Andre Tippett,Pro Hall of Famer and former Linebacker for New England Patriots and
also, Patriots' Executive Director of Community Affairs; Luis Solis, MVP Volunteer of
the Year Award Winner; Zoltan Mesko, Punter for the New England Patriot's; and
Ginger Katz, CEO and Founder of the Courage to Speak Foundation.


Luis Solis, Courage to Speak Foundation MVP Volunteer of the Year Award Winner is
bottom row, 2nd from left.



Ginger Katz CEO and Founder of the Courage to Speak Foundation
and Robert Kraft Owner of the Patriots



Joshua Kraft, President of The New England Patriots Charitable Foundation
(Speaking at podium); Robert Kraft, Owner of the Patriots; Luis Solis receiving MVP
Volunteer of the Year Award; Andre Tippett, Hall of Famer and former Linebacker for
the Patriots and also Patriots' Executive Director of Community Affairs; and Zoltan
Mesko (Punter for the New England Patriot’s)




The 8th Annual Courage to Speak® Empowering Youth To Be Drug Free Family Night

The 8th Annual Courage to Speak® Empowering Youth To Be Drug Free Family Night will take place on Tuesday, March 20, 2012, 5:15 p.m., at West Rocks Middle School, 81 West Rocks Road, in Norwalk (snow date:  March 21).  All are invited to the event, which will bring students, parents, educators, school and government officials, business and community leaders together to affirm their commitment to keep our children safe from drugs and other risky behaviors. A complimentary dinner will be served.

This exciting media event will spotlight the outstanding work and words of students who participate in the in the Courage to Speak® Foundation’s programs in their schools. Norwalk’s Mayor Richard Moccia, Chief of Police Harry Rilling and Superintendent of Schools Dr. Susan Marks will introduce the students who take the microphone and speak out with their vows not to use drugs. State Representative Lawrence F. Cafero, Jr. will serve as Master of Ceremonies.

On display will be the remarkable artwork created by the students during their drug prevention classes with their teachers. Highlights of the event include the students' readings of their drug prevention messages and the Courage to Speak® Presentation for parents and students by Ginger Katz, CEO & Founder of the Courage to Speak® Foundation. The evening includes presentation of The Courage to Speak® Community Leadership Awards for teachers and volunteers and Recognition Awards for parents who participated in the Courage to Speak-Courageous Parenting 101® drug prevention education program.

Title Sponsor: Affinion

Gold Sponsors: Virgin Atlantic Airways, The Blattman Family, Diageo, Hilton Garden Inn, Cablevision of CT, Pepperidge Farm, First Niagara Bank, gWay Marketing Gymnasium, WICC600, The Doyle Family and Cox Media Group

Silver Sponsors: Xerox Corporation, Smart Cycles, Webster Bank, TD Bank, Stew Leonard’s, Silvermine Golf Club, Continental Manor Catering, Broward Properties Ltd. and Norwalk Pizza & Pasta

Friends of the Event: Crystal Restoration Services, Inc., Kaiser-Battistone, West Rocks Shell, Bob’s Discount Furniture, Strada18, J.F. Buchta Electric Co., Inc., Rick’s Main Roofing, Paul Lenoci, B.J. Ryan’s Restaurant, Via Sforza Trattoria, O’Neill’s Irish Pub & Restaurant, Outback Steakhouse, Edward & Barbara Kowal, Costco, World Wrestling Entertainment, Bruce’s Flower Shop, Muro’s Original New York Bakery, Jordan’s Pizza, John’s Best Pizza and Jimmy’s Mediterranean Deli

Click here to view the Save the Date
Click here to view the Family Night Letter
Click here to view Sponsorship Agreement
Click here to view the Press Release
Click here to view the Program
Click here to view the Flyer



Listen to Ginger Katz on the Award-Winning Public Affairs Program, For the People, talk about the 8th Annual Courage to Speak Empowering Youth to be Drug Free Family Night with Radio Host and Producer, John Voket on Cox Media Group's award-winning public affairs program, For the People which is syndicated on 95.9 The Fox, Star 99.9 and 99.1 WPLR.

.


Listen to Ginger and Larry Katz on 1400 WSTC/1350 WNLK Radio talk about Courage to Speak- Courageous Parenting 101® with Radio Personality, Wendy Corey.

 


Saturday, August 6, 2011 - Results 13th Annual Ian James Eaccarino Memorial 9-Mile Race

 

Our volunteers at the race
Our volunteers at the race


Ginger and Larry with the Youngest Runner, Alex Baluha (17 years old,Milford, CT)
(far left) and the First Place Winner, Eneas Freyre (Norwalk, CT) 
(right)


Ginger and Larry accepting the generous donation from the Lightfoot Running Club


Ginger with the First Place Female Runner, Julie Heaphy (Norwalk, CT)


The runners take their mark...


And they're off!

 

Click here to download race sponsor, volunteer, participant registration form
Click here to view race letter
Click here to for the press release





Saturday, July 24, 2010 - Results 12th Annual Ian James Eaccarino Memorial 9-Mile Race & 5K Health Walk The event raised over $5,500 for the Courage to Speak Foundation The Courage to Speak award was given to Shannon Gombos, age 19 of Norwalk. This plaque is given to the youngest participant in the race and underscores the importance of a healthy lifestyle.








Larry and Ginger Katz, Co-Founders, with Shannon Gombos,
who was given the Courage to Speak award for promoting a
healthy lifestyle as the youngest runner at age 19

The overall winner of the Ian James Eaccarino
9 mile road race was Timothy Milenkevich of
Ansonia, CT with a time of 55:25. Congratulations
to Timothy!









First place finisher, Timothy Milenkevich of
Ansonia running to the finish line


Second place winner was Jane Maxwell of New York, NY with a time of 56:53 and she is the first woman to place second in this race.



















Second place finisher, Jane Maxwell of New York, NY with Ginger Katz

For more information about the Lightfoot Running Club and the results of the race please visit Lightfoot Runners - Home




















Don Capone, President of the Lightfoot Running
Club (center) with Larry and Ginger Katz, donated
 $1,500 to the Courage to Speak Foundation.

Introductory comments were given by Ginger Katz, CEO & Founder of the Courage to Speak Foundation as well as State Representative Chris Perone, Senator Bob Duff, Congressman Jim Himes and Norwalk Mayor Richard Moccia.

Photo above:
Congressman Jim Himes and
Ginger Katz

Photo above:
Larry and Ginger Katz with
Mayor Richard Moccia

Ginger and Larry Katz running in a past race

Ginger Katz with Charlie Doyle, the youngest volunteer to help at the race

Kileen Doyle, Courage to Speak Foundation Board Member, Senator Bob Duff, Ginger Katz and State Representative Chris Perone

Watch Ian’s Memorial Race Introductions

 


Listen to The 12th Annual Ian James Eaccarino Memorial 9-Mile Race and 5K Health Walk Radio Interview with John LaBarca on News-Talk 1400 WSTC / 1350 WNLK Radio, Fairfield County

 


Dear Friend:

There are so many races and walks for "the cure".

Our eyes glaze over as we write another check for another cause.

But what if a race could save YOUR life -- or better - your CHILD's life.

We think this race can.  And we hope you can join us.

The 12th Annual Ian James Eaccarino Memorial 9-Mile Race and 5K Health Walk is 8 am, Saturday, July 24, 2010 at Calf Pasture Beach in Norwalk.  It's in memory of my son, Ian, who died of a drug overdose.   Something I hope no other parent will ever face.

The race, and funds we raise, will help parents and children communicate openly and honestly about drugs and addiction before it consumes and takes their lives.

My husband, Larry and I, have presented our story to over a million people, locally and across the country. The Courage to Speak Foundation drug prevention curriculum is taught in our Norwalk schools and beyond.  Evaluation teams have found it to be one of the most effective ways of preventing childhood drug addiction.

We also offer a free course that educates parents on how to keep your children safe from drugs, Courage to Speak - Courageous Parenting 101™.

The Lightfoot Running Club, WSTC 1400/WNLK1350, Norwalk Recreation and Parks Department, and Booth Financial Associates sponsor the race.    Please consider becoming a Friend of the race with a gift of $100, a Bronze Sponsor ($250), a Silver Sponsor ($500), a Gold Sponsor ($1,000), or a Platinum Sponsor($2,500).

The race entry fee is $7.  For information about sponsoring the race, running in the race or volunteering, e-mail gkatz@couragetospeak.org, call Ginger Katz at 1-877-431-3295 or visit our website www.couragetopeak.org.

For a race flyer click here

 
It may help save a child's life.


Thank you,

Ginger Katz

CEO, Founder and Author of Sunny's Story


"The Courage to Speak "Empowering Youth to be Drug Free" Family Night 2011"


Click
here to view the Press Release
Click here to view the Save the Date
"The Courage to Speak "Empowering Youth to be Drug Free" Family Night 2010"
Click here to view the Press Release

Preview the Courage to Speak® Family Night Program Here
Family Night Radio Interview Here
Click to view information on "Operation Medicine Drop"
Click Here to view our Placemat Sponsors
Click Here to see the Family Night Quiz Winner & Statistics!

The Courage to Speak Empowering Youth to be Drug Free Family Night and Media Event including "Operation Medicine Drop"

Students Speak Out!

The 6th Annual Courage To Speak Empowering Youth to Be Drug Free Family Night will take place on Tuesday, March 16, 2010, 5:30 p.m., at West Rocks Middle School, 81 West Rocks Road, in Norwalk (snow date:  March 18).  All are invited to the event, which will bring families, educators, and community leaders together to affirm their commitment to keeping our children safe from drugs. Dinner is included.

Proceeds from the event benefit The Courage to Speak Foundation programs and curricula to educate children and their parents about the dangers of drug and alcohol use.  The evening features elementary and middle school students speaking about their drug prevention message, as well as a display of drug prevention posters and collages created by students during classes they  have taken as part of the Courage To Speak Drug Prevention Curriculum.  The evening also includes dinner and a presentation for parents and students by Ginger Katz, Founder and CEO of the Courage to Speak Foundation. All communities are invited.

 

This year’s event also features Operation Medicine Drop; a new drug disposal program partnership between the Foundation and the Norwalk Police Department designed to help keep unused medications out of the wrong hands.  Attendees are encouraged to bring any old, unused, or out-of-date prescriptions or over-the-counter medications they find in their medicine cabinets to the event.   The controlled substances that are collected will then be disposed of in a safe and non-hazardous manner.

 

 “Many young persons’ first experience with drugs comes from drugs found in the family medicine cabinet,” explains Norwalk Chief of Police Harry Rilling. “We sometimes lose sight of that fact and do not take recommended precautions to ensure these drugs are not accessible to the other members of our family and friends.  Not only can these drugs lead to abuse of and addiction to other drugs, their consumption can be deadly. All drugs collected at the event will be properly disposed of by members of the Norwalk Police Department,” added Chief Rilling.  “Please help us to help you make your home as safe an environment as possible.”

 

In addition to Chief Rilling, other Family Night attendees will include over 15 students speakers, Norwalk Mayor Richard Moccia and Norwalk Assistant Superintendent of Norwalk Schools Mr. Tony Daddona.  State of Connecticut General Assembly House Minority Leader, Lawrence F. Cafero, Jr. will serve as Master of Ceremonies. Participants will also include school principals and prevention and treatment professionals, teachers, business and community leaders, representatives of state and local government, and members of the Courage to Speak Foundation Board of Directors.  Special Guest: Dianne Harnad, MSW, Director of Prevention and Health Promotion at the Dept. of Mental Heath and Addiction Services.

 

“Bringing students and parents together to talk openly and honestly about the dangers of drugs is the most important goal of Family Night,” stated Ms. Katz. “By helping our students become outstanding anti-drug advocates and mentors for their friends and younger siblings, we hope to eradicate the problem of drug and alcohol use among young people in CT and across the country. 

 

The 6th Annual Courage To Speak Empowering Youth to Be Drug Free Family Night is sponsored by Affinion Group and Pepperidge Farm, Inc. Other sponsors include Cablevision, Connecticut Business Systems, Continental Manor Catering, Crystal Rock, David Molina, gWay Marketing Gymnasium, Hilton Garden Inn, JetBlue Airways, MBI, Inc., Mutual Security, Nestle Waters, Norwalk Pizza & Pasta, Patriot National Bank, Sharp Performance USA, Silvermine Golf Club, SmartCycles, Stew Leonard’s, The Hour Newspaper, Webster Bank, WSTC 1400 / WNLK 1350. 

 

For more information about the event, visit www.couragetospeak.org, or call 1-203-831-9700.

 

                                                                        #####   

 

BECOME A COURAGE TO SPEAK® SPONSOR OF THE EVENT!

  • See the event letter
  • See the sponsorship chart



  • Saturday, July 25, 2009
  • 11th Annual Ian James Eaccarino Memorial 9-Mile Race Race Results
  • The event raised over $5,000 for the Courage to Speak Foundation

  • The Courage to Speak award was given to Lindsey Russo, age 16 of Norwalk. A plaque was given to Lindsey as she crossed the finish line as the youngest participant in the race to underscore the importance of a healthy lifestyle. Lindsay is also the first female to finish the race, with a time of 1:05 minutes,  a personal best for the young athlete.

  • The overall winner of the Ian James Eaccarino 9 mile road race was Ivan Garciacasti of Old Greenwich, CT with a time of 55:09. Congratulations to Ivan!
  • Ivan Winner
  • Ivan Garciacasati, 29, of Greenwich

For more information about the Lightfoot Running Club and the results go to  Lightfoot Runners - Home

Chris Klimik
Ginger Katz and Chris Klimek, Marketing Director of Lightfoot
Running Club

Don Capone
Don Capone, President of the Lightfoot Running Club donated
$1800 to the Courage to Speak Foundation.


July 26, 2009

hour

By Steve Kobak
Hour Staff Writer

Going the distance: Event races awareness against drug abuse
As 16-year-old Norwalker Lindsey Russo hustled to keep her lead in a nine-mile race that began at Calf Pasture Beach early Sunday morning, she thought about the anti-drug message behind the race.

Russo placed first among females who ran the Ian James Eccarino 9-Mile Memorial Road Race and 5k Health Walk and during her run, she said she thought about Eccarino -- whose parents formed the anti-drug advocacy group "Courage to Speak Foundation" after he died of a drug overdose.

"(Ian's) story is very inspirational to me, and I wanted to go out and win it for him," she said.

The 11th annual road race was hosted by the Lightfoot Running Club and attracted approximately 250 runners. Ivan Garciacasati, 29, of Greenwich, placed first overall, finishing the race in 55 minutes. Click here to read more.



Saturday, July 25, 2009

11th Annual Ian James Eaccarino Memorial 9-Mile Race

You are invited to join us as a supporter of the Eleventh Annual Ian James Eaccarino Memorial 9-Mile Race on Saturday, July 25 starting at 8:00am at Calf Pasture Beach in Norwalk. We need your support to help us save a child, save a family and build a healthier community. The Lightfoot Running Club, The Hour Newspaper, WSTC 1400/WNLK1350, Norwalk Recreation and Parks Department, Patriot National Bank, Jessie Knopp and Booth Financial Associates are sponsors of the race.
Last year, over 150 runners participated in this extraordinary community event that
underscores the importance of passion, commitment and a healthy drug-free lifestyle – the
essence of our message to young people through our work on behalf of The Courage to Speak Foundation. Your donation will help us continue our drug prevention education programs in our schools, workplaces and communities. You may save a life in the process.

Let me share our story and why we remain committed to the race and our cause. I was a new member of the Norwalk Chamber of Commerce, a commissioner on the Norwalk Planning Commission, a wife and mother of two children. My son Ian had just graduated from Norwalk High School and started college. In February 1996, he called asking us for help. Ian had become addicted to drugs and couldn't stop. He left school and came home.

Ian had his whole life ahead of him. He believed he was on track with his recovery and enrolled at UCONN nearer to our home. On Tuesday, September 10, 1996 he died of a drug overdose. Our lives changed forever. Addiction does not discriminate. It doesn't matter who you are, what race you are, how financially sound you are, or whether or not you have a family who loves you dearly. Sadly, it can happen to anyone.

After Ian’s death, Dewey Amos former principal at Norwalk High School and my priest at St. Thomas Church, asked me to speak to children and parents in our community. Since then, we have presented our story to over half a million people across the country. The Courage to Speak Foundation has also developed drug prevention curricula, taught in our Norwalk schools since 2001 and rapidly expanding to other communities. Last year, we added a new fivesession parent education program, Courageous Parenting 101®, and over 350 parents have already attended.

Please consider becoming a Friend of the race with a gift of $100, a Bronze Sponsor ($250), a Silver Sponsor ($500), a Gold Sponsor ($1,000), or a Platinum Sponsor ($2,500), or what ever you can. You may also donate by visiting our website www.couragetospeak.org. Together we can make a difference in the lives of our children, empowering them to be drug free and encouraging parents to communicate effectively with their children about the dangers of drugs. For more information call 1-877-431-3295. Our race flyer
click here

Sincerely,

Ginger Katz

CEO, Founder and Author of Sunny's Story

The Courage to Speak® Family Night event held on March 30, 2009 
See Program Brochure here

Students that participated in the Courage to Speak Drug Prevention Curriculum submitted letters.
Click here to view the letters


 

5th Annual Event!

The Courage to Speak®
Empowering Youth to be Drug Free Family Night

"Knowledge is Power"

Click here for flyer

March 30, 2009

Email us
gkatz@couragetospeak.org
 
See
sponsorship form
See invitation letter
See press release


Purchase raffle tickets and have a chance at
winning Virgin Atlantic Airways 2 roundtriptickets
to London form NYC


March 30, 2009

"The Courage to Speak Empowering Youth to be Drug Free Family Night 2008"
 
"KNOWLEDGE IS POWER ANNUAL EVENT"

Taking place at West Rock Middle School, 81 West Rocks Middle School, Norwalk, CT on March 30, 2009 - doors open at 5:30 pm. For more information, call 1-877-431-3295.
The event is open to families from Norwalk and ALL other communities. The evening includes the Courage to Speak Presentation for Parents and Students. On display were the remarkable prevention posters and collages created by the children during the Courage To Speak drug prevention classes. The Courage To Speak Drug Prevention Curriculum is helping fourth and seventh graders to become outstanding prevention advocates and mentors for their younger siblings.
Speakers included Mayor Richard Moccia, Chief of Police, Harry Rilling and Dr. Salvatore Corda, Norwalk Superintendent of Schools. Courage To Speak Community Leadership and Recognition Awards was also being presented. Snow date March 31, 2009.
Sunny's Story written by Ginger Katz was available at this event.
See the
invitation letter
See the sponsorship form



Courageous Parenting 101® Program...sign up now

Ginger Katz, founder and CEO of The Courage to Speak Foundation, has announced plans to launch a new four-session substance abuse prevention and education program, called  Courageous Parenting 101® .
The new program targets and is designed for parents using the Courage to Speak model and philosophy as a touchstone. It will have its inaugural run at West Rock Middle School in Norwalk with the parent series starting January 15 following a traditional Courage to Speak Presentation on January 8, 2008. Courageous Parenting will be open to parents from throughout the community free of charge. For more information, please see the Parent Registration Form.


Special training for facilitators who will lead the new program will take place on January 10.For more information, please see the Facilitators Application Form.

See attached press release, newspaper article #1 and newspaper article #2.


Call 877- 431- 3295 for more information.


Saturday, July 26, 2008 - The 10th Annual Ian James Eaccarino Memorial 9 Mile Race Results 

This year over 111 runners participated in the 10th Ian James Eaccarino Memorial 9 Mile Race this Saturday, July 26. The first place winner was Natali Angok of Guilford with a time of 51:13 and first place female, Megan Peterson, age 25 of Fairfield with a time of 1:01:38. A plaque was given to Mike Morton, age 14 with a time of 1:16:01 as he crossed the finish line as the youngest participant in the race to underscore the importance of a healthy lifestyle.
 
The Lightfoot Running Club and the Park and Recreation Department of Norwalk as well as the Patriot National Bank, Stew Leonard's, Valera Global, Inc., The Hour Newspapers WSTC 1400/WNLK 1350, Kaiser-Battistone, William & Sandra Bennett, Via Sforza, Fenella, Perason, ASID, FAF, Inc., The Doyle Family, Norwalk Educational Foundation and Cook Associates your Company Store sponsored the race held at Calf Pasture Beach.
 
A donation of $1,600 was given by Don Capone, President of the Lightfoot Running Club to Ginger and Larry Katz, Co-founders of the Courage To Speak Foundation which is a non profit organization committed to raising awareness about the dangers of drugs in many communities, workplaces and schools. The funding is for the development and continuation of the Courage to Speak Drug Prevention programs for elementary, middle and high school curriculum as well as Courageous Parenting 101® which will be implemented in the fall in the Norwalk community. The Courage To Speak mission is to empower youth to be drug free and encourage parents to communicate the dangers of substance use to their children. Visit
www.couragetospeak.org
 

(L to R) Larry Katz, 1st pace finisher Natali Angok of Guilford
and Ginger Katz at the Lightfoot Running Club 10th Annual Ian
James Eaccarino Memorial 9 - mile race.  



Mike Morton age 14 with a time of 1:16:01 at the Lightfoot
Running Club 10th Annual Ian James Eaccarino Memorial
9 - mile race.

Ginger Katz, CEO & Founder

You are invited to join us as a supporter of the Tenth Annual Ian James Eaccarino Memorial 9-Mile Race on Saturday, July 26 starting at 8:00am at Calf Pasture Beach in Norwalk. The race is sponsored by the Lightfoot Running Club, Patriot National Bank, The Hour Newspaper, Norwalk Recreation and Parks Department, Booth Financial Associates, Sandra and William Bennett, Kaiser-Battistone, Stew Leonard's, WSTC 1400/WNLK 1350 and Cook Associates Your Company Store.
 
My husband, Larry, and I have been members of Lightfoot Running Club for over 26 years. The club suggested this race be dedicated in memory of our son, Ian, as he worked at Calf Pasture beach the summer before he died. Ian personally planted many of the trees that now line our beautiful beach.
 
We had more than 150 runners in this extraordinary community race last year. It is an event that underscores the importance of passion, commitment, and a healthy drug-free lifestyle. That is an important part of our message to young people through our work on behalf of The Courage to Speak Foundation. Your donation for the race will help raise awareness of the dangers of drugs in our schools, workplaces, and communities. You empower youth to be drug free. You encourage parents to communicate the dangers of substance abuse and misuse to their children. You may save a life in the process.
 
Let me share our story and why we remain committed to the race and our cause. I was a new member of the Norwalk Chamber of Commerce, a commissioner on the Norwalk Planning Commission, a wife, and a mother of two children a little over 12 years ago. Ian had graduated from Norwalk High School and had begun college. In February, 1996, he called asking us for help. He had become addicted to drugs and couldn't stop. We brought him home to get help and believed we were on track with his recovery. He had his whole life ahead of him.
 
In early September that year, Ian enrolled at UCONN, near our home, and on Tuesday, September 10, he died of a drug overdose. Our lives changed forever. Addiction does not discriminate. It doesn't matter who you are, what race you are, how financially sound you are, or whether or not your family loves you totally. Sadly, it can happen to anyone.
After Ian s death, Dewey Amos at Norwalk High School and my priest at St. Thomas Church, asked me to speak to children and parents in the community about what had happened to us and how simply Ian s life could have been saved. Since then, we have presented our story to over half a million people across the country. The Foundation has developed elementary, middle, and high school curricula that are helping children in our Norwalk schools. We added a new five-session parent education program, Courageous Parenting 101®, earlier this year with over 100 parents attending and 21 facilitators trained.
 
We need your support to help us save a child, save a family, and build a healthier community. Please consider becoming a Friend of the race with a gift of $100, a Bronze Sponsor ($250), a Silver Sponsor ($500), a Gold Sponsor ($1,000), or a Platinum Sponsor ($2,500), or what ever you can. Together we can make a difference in the lives of our children. For more information call 1-877-431-3295. Our race flyer
Click here

Sincerely,
Ginger Katz


March 24, 2008
 

"The Courage to Speak Empowering Youth to be Drug Free Family Night 2008"
Took place at West Rock Middle School, 81 West Rocks Middle School, Norwalk, CT on March 24, 2008 - doors were open at 5:30 pm. For more information, call 1-877-431-3295.
The event was open to families from Norwalk and ALL other communities. The evening included the Courage to Speak Presentation for Parents and Students. On display were the remarkable prevention posters and collages created by the children during the Courage To Speak drug prevention classes. The Courage To Speak Drug Prevention Curriculum is helping fourth and seventh graders to become outstanding prevention advocates and mentors for their younger siblings.

Speakers included Mayor Richard Moccia, Chief of Police, Harry Rilling and Dr. Salvatore Corda, Norwalk Superintendent of Schools. Courage To Speak Community Leadership and Recognition Awards was also being presented. Snow date March 31, 2007. Dinner donated by Wild Oats of Westport, CT.
Sunny's Story written by Ginger Katz was available at this event. See press release about the book
here. See the invitation letter here. See the sponsorship form here.




Courageous Parenting 101® Program...sign up now

Ginger Katz, founder and CEO of The Courage to Speak Foundation, has announced plans to launch a new four-session substance abuse prevention and education program, called  Courageous Parenting 101® .
The new program targets and is designed for parents using the Courage to Speak model and philosophy as a touchstone. It will have its inaugural run at West Rock Middle School in Norwalk with the parent series starting January 15 following a traditional Courage to Speak Presentation on January 8, 2008. Courageous Parenting will be open to parents from throughout the community free of charge. For more information, please see the Parent Registration Form.

Special training for facilitators who will lead the new program will take place on January 10.For more information, please see the Facilitators Application Form.

See attached press release, newspaper article #1 and newspaper article #2.

Call 877- 431- 3295 for more information.
 


Saturday July 28, 2007 - Kayak for a Cause

Nautica/GQ Kayak For A Cause

VII

was created as a way to blend the love of the sport with the commitment to helping good causes like Courage to SpeakFoundation which is proud to be a beneficiary again this year. The mission of the Courage To Speak Foundation is to "Save Lives by Empowering Youth to be Drug Free ."Each year, kayakers join together to cross Long Island Sound and raise funds for their favorite charities, most of which work to protect our local waters, our environment, and our community. Even if you've never picked up a paddle, you can help by supporting our paddlers and donating.

Nautica/GQ

Kayak For A Cause VII created an amazing visual last August at Calf Pasture Beach in Norwalk, Connecticut as nearly 300 kayakers, including three Courage to Speak board members - Kileen Doyle, Peter Corbett and Jim Sibley - lined up along the shore to make the 12-13-mile trek across Long Island Sound raising money for our own,The Courage To Speak Foundation , Cancer Care, Hole in the Wall Camp, Outward Bound, and Save the Sound.

Nautica/GQ Kayak For A Cause

VII was founded seven years ago by co-founders, Miles Spencer and Scott Carlin with their commitment to helping good causes.  "Part of our mission is to help forward the good work of organizations in our community", said Miles Spencer, Co-Founder of Kayak for a Cause. "We are proud to have played a small role in what Courage to Speak has accomplished since we began our support a few years ago."

We are blessed to be part of this extraordinary community event, as the funding we receive will help us reach more children and parents, and perhaps save a life. There are several levels of giving that permit donors like you to become an integral and intimate part of the event. Join us up close and personal on July 28th. Call Ginger Katz at 877 431 3295 or e-mail
gkcourage@aol.com to volunteer at Kayak for a Cause or other community and school events.

 

Click here/a> to watch a video clip about Kayak for a Cause (FOX Channel 6).

Photos from Launch 2006:


Kileen Doyle Kayaker for Kayak for a Cause and Courage to Speak board member

 


Saturday Morning Launch


March 6, 2007

"The Courage to Speak Empowering Youth to be Drug Free Family Night 2007"

at West Rock Middle School on March 6  - doors open 5:30 pm. For more information, call 1-877-431-3295.

The event will be open to families from Norwalk and other communities.  The evening will include the Courage to Speak Presentation for Parents and Students. On display will be the remarkable prevention posters and collages created by the children during the Courage To Speak drug prevention classes. The Courage To Speak Drug Prevention Curriculum is helping fourth and seventh graders to become outstanding prevention advocates and mentors for their younger siblings.

Speakers include Mayor Richard Moccia, Chief of Police, Harry Rilling and Dr. Salvatore Corda, Norwalk Superintendent of Schools. Courage To Speak Community Leadership and Recognition Awards will also be presented.  Snow date March 13, 2007
. Dinner donated by Wild Oats of Westport, CT.

Sunny's Story, our new book, will be available at this event. See press release about the book here.

 


September 27, 2006 - A Gift from

Kayak for a Cause

On September 27, 2006, Mile Spenser, co founder of Kayak for a Cause visited Ponus Ridge Middle School and listened to The Courage To Speak presentation to all the seventh graders. He presented a donation to Ginger Katz, Founder of the organization for the development and continuation of The Courage To Speak Drug Prevention Programs for elementary and middle school children. "We are grateful to Miles Spenser and Ryan Moran and all the board of directors of Kayak for a Cause and thank them for their generous donation and dedication to our mission." Visit www.kayakforacause.com

August 5, 2006 - 8th Annual Ian's Memorial 9 Miler Road Race

Ginger and Larry Katz have been members of the Lightfoot Running Club for over 25 years. After Ian's death the club decided to have yearly trophy race in Ian's memory in association with the Recreation and Parks Department of Norwalk. A special trophy is given to the youngest participant in the race to underscore the importance of kids finding their passion. Click here for the brochure.
Saturday July 29, 2006 - Kayak for a Cause  

Kayak for A Cause was created as a way to blend the love of the sport with the commitment to helping good causes. Each year, kayakers join together to cross Long Island Sound and raise money for their favorite charities and most of which work to protect our local waters, environment and community. Even if you've never picked up a paddle, you can help by supporting our paddlers and donating.

Kayak For A Cause event created an amazing visual at Calf Pasture Beach in Norwalk, CT last August, as about 200 kayakers-including three of our board members - Kileen Doyle, Peter Corbett and Jim Sibley well line up along the shore to make the 12-to 13-mile trek across Long Island Sound, raising money for six area charities including The Courage To Speak Foundation, Inc

. We are blessed to be part of this because this funding will help us reach more children and Parents. Some of the money will be used to develop our prevention program for fourth-graders. Please click here for more info

 Call Ginger Katz at

877 431 3295 for volunteer and other information and go to www.kayakforacause.com 

 


2005 Basketball Classic Event

Ginger's favorite sport from childhood has been BASKETBALL! The Courage To Speak Basketball Classic has become a favorite in Norwalk. A continually evolving basketball tournament, it reaches thousands of people with the Courage to Speak's message and helps raise funds for its programs. Now its sixth year, the Basketball Classic has received extensive local and national media coverage including NBC's "NBA Inside Stuff."

 

This event has something for everyone. During The "Battle of the Sexes" rubber match, the Hot Shots --Ginger's all-women team -- and a men's team of community leaders including Norwalk's mayor and police chief square off for a rollicking competition. This competition has been going on for years to the great enjoyment of its fans. It takes place during half time of the All Star High School Girls Basketball Tournament, featuring Connecticut's best young women players, selected by their coaches. Everyone is invited to get into the act with Foul shooting contests with prizes for all ages from peewee to adults. Click here to email a request for more information.

Look for the next Basketball Classic in: October, 2006.

 

 

Top photo: The CT Senior Olympics Hot Shots.
Bottom photo: Norwalk, Chief of Police Harry Rilling and Ginger Katz at the Courage To Speak All Star Basketball Classic.

 


5th Annual

Kayak for a Cause

The fifth annual Kayak For A Cause event created an amazing visual at Calf Pasture Beach in Norwalk, CT last August, as about 200 kayakers-including two of our board members!-lined up along the shore to make the 12-to 13-mile trek across Long Island Sound, raising money for six area charities including The Courage To Speak. We were blessed to be part of this because this funding will help us reach more children and Parents. Some of the money will be used to develop our prevention program for fourth-graders. Click here to send an email for more information.

Look for the next Kayak for a Cause: August 2006

Photo: Ryan Moron, Kayak for a Cause and Ginger and Larry Katz. Kayak for a Cause donated $18,000 to The Courage To Speak Foundation, Inc.



The Courage To Speak Legislative and Community Breakfast 2005

This exciting event, sponsored by Webster Bank, kicked off our 10th anniversary year of empowering youth to be drug free. Over 100 state and local legislators, educators, business leaders, parents, agency representatives and clergy attended the event to hear Robert C. Charles, former assistant Secretary of State for International Narcotics and Law Enforcement under Colin Powell give a national overview about drugs and the importance of prevention programs. The audience was riveted by Mr. Charles talk and stunned by the sobering statistics he offered. He has been a mentor to the Courage To Speak for several years.

At the event, Dr. Thomas Kirk, Connecticut's Commissioner for Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services, read a Proclamation from Governor Jody Rell commending our work and naming October 26 Courage To Speak Day. The audience learned about our local situation from the Mayor, Chief of Police and from a middle school principal, teacher and student about the effectiveness of The Courage To Speak school-based programs. Click here to
email a request for more information.

Look for the next Legislative and Community Breakfast: October 2006

Top photo: Keynote speaker, Bobby Charles, former Assistant to the Secretary of State under Colin Powell.
Bottom photo: Peter Corbett, board member CTS; Robert Charles, Keynote speaker; Ginger Katz; State Rep Larry Cafero, and Co-Founder Larry Katz.

 

Connecticut PTA Presidents Convention2005

In May 2005, Ginger made her presentation before the statewide convention of PTA presidents.
She emphasized the importance of parents and schools working together to help children learn to make healthy choices.

Photo: Ginger Katz, CT PTA Keynote speaker, featured on CT New Channel 3.

 


2005 CADCA Youth Conference

In January 2005 Ginger Katz gave the kick-off presentation for CADCA's youth conference. CADCA, Community Anti Drug Coalitions of America in Washington, DC. In February 2006, The Courage To Speak will have a booth at CADCA.

Click here for
CADCA's website.

Top photo: General Arthur Dean, CEO of CADCA and Ginger Katz
Bottom photo: Sharon Smith, President of Momstell (L) and Ginger Katz, President of Courage to Speak Foundation are joined by General Arthur Dean, Chairman and CEO of CADCA

 


2004

DEA Event in NY

In 2004 in New York City, the national Drug Enforcement Administration opened its "Target America" prevention museum exhibition at Times Square. Ginger was asked to represent parents who had lost children to drugs at the ribbon-cutting ceremony and to speak at the press conference along with former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani.

Click here for the
DEA website.

Top photo: Larry and Ginger Katz and former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani.

Bottom photo: Norwalk-based organization joined Karen Tandy, Chief Administrator of the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA), White House drug czar John Walters, former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani and and Nora Volcoff (NIDA), at ribbon-cutting ceremony for three-story DEA exhibit dedicated to educating Americans on the dangers and effects of drug us.

The Partnership for a Drug Free America Annual Conference 2004

Ginger Katz Keynote Speaker "Breaking the code of silence around addiction" at the "The Partnership for a Drug Free America - Opening Eyes" State/City Alliance Program & Volunteer Network, Leadership Conference & Skills Training at the Grand Hyatt New York City.

See page 5 of the
PDFA Newsletter 2004.

 


Norwalk Drug Forfeiture Money Press Conference:


In 2004, Harry Rilling, Chief of the Norwalk Police Department, announced that the department would use part of the money it receives from the national drug forfeiture money fund to support the Courage To Speak Drug Prevention Curriculum for Middle Schools, a gift it has repeated in 2005.

Photo: Dr. Sal Corda, Norwalk Superintendent of Schools; former Mayor Alex Knopp; Norwalk Chief of Police, Harry Rilling; Ginger Katz; Larry Katz and former board member Emil Albanese.

 



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The Courage to Speak®Foundation, 71 East Avenue, Suite M, Norwalk, CT 06851     203-831-9700 TOLL FREE: (877) 431-3295