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"

Past Articles: 2010 | 2009 | 2008 | 2007 | 2006





The following links are from the full newspaper articles above.

Finding Courage to Speak of Son's Death, New York Times

2000 Woman of the Year - Ginger Katz, Connecticut Post

'You don't want my pain' Heroin addict's mother makes impression with eighth-graders, The News-Times

Couple tries to prevent tragedy by speaking about their own, Effingham Daily News

Decade of Dedication: Ginger Katz's Courage to Speak anti-drug program marks 10 years, Connecticut Post

For the Children, a Mother Revisits Her Sorrow, New York Times

Katz still has the Courage to Speak against drugs, The Stamford Times

Knowledge is Power- Ginger Katz is on a mission to educate parents about drugs, The Advocate



Current News:



October 2017

The Courage To Speak!

FAIRFIELD– The Courage to Speak Foundation Presentation Ginger and Larry Katz, Co-Founders of the Courage to Speak® Foundation will be speaking at Our Lady of the Assumption Parish, 545 Stratfield Road, Fairfield on Thursday, October 19th at 6:30 PM in the Parish Hall.

Click here to read more


May 25, 2017
Weymouth sixth-graders learn about opioid epidemic
By Zane Razzaq 
The Patriot Ledger

WEYMOUTH – “Don’t keep secrets in, get your pain out” was author Ginger Katz’s message to an audience of Abigail Adams Middle School students and parents Wednesday evening.

Ginger Katz’s son, Ian, died in his sleep of a heroin overdose in Norwalk, Connecticut, at age 20. Katz described her son as “bright and very sensitive, with an insight well beyond his years.” Eleven years after his death, in 2007, Katz wrote the book “Sunny’s Story.” The book is narrated by the family dog, Sunny, as he watches Ian’s addiction develop.

Click here to read more











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Addiction Awareness Event Scheduled For Sept. 27

The Courage To Speak Foundation CEO Ginger Katz will discuss substance abuse and addiction in Milton.
By Kristal Dixon (Patch Staff) - September 20, 2016 2:46 pm ET


Addiction Awareness Event Scheduled For Sept. 27

MILTON, GA -- A church in Milton will host an event next week to inform local residents about the perils of drug addiction.

The Courage To Speak Foundation will bring its addiction awareness discussion to Birmingham United Methodist Church at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 27.

Fulton County District 2 Commissioner Bob Ellis, along with members of the Fulton County Youth Commission, are slated to attend next week's event.

During the discussion, residents will hear from foundation founder Ginger Katz, who will give a presentation about substance abuse and addiction.

Katz will go over how to recognize the warning signs; addiction and its impact on families; the code of silence and its dangers; how to identify risky behaviors and friendships; and what to do if you suspect your child is using drugs or alcohol.

The foundation was created in 1996 after Katz, and husband Larry, lost their son, Ian, to a drug overdose. Since its founding, the organization has been dedicated to preventing drug overdose deaths from affecting another families.

Birmingham United Methodist Church is located at 15770 Birmingham Highway. 




May 23, 2016

By Kimberly Armstrong 
Courant Community                                        
 

Courage to Speak

Ian was 20 years old when his mother, Ginger Katz, found him dead of a heroin overdose in the basement of their Connecticut home.

Faced with the loss of their youngest child, doctors recommended that Katz and her husband, Larry, tell grieving relatives that he died of a heart attack or brain aneurysm to soften the blow.

Instead, as Ginger Katz lay awake the night before her son's funeral, she decided to speak out.

"I could not, would not, bury my son with a lie," she told parents at Stafford Middle School. "I felt very early on, if we don't address it, if we shove it under the rug, more people will die."

Click here to read more



April 5, 2016




March 7, 2016

Courage to Speak plans annual event on March 14

NORWALK -- Join Ginger Katz and The Courage to Speak for their 12th annual "Empowering the Youth to be Drug Free Family Night" event to help those with drug addiction on Monday, March 14. This is the Courage to Speak Foundation's 20th year in its mission to spread awareness and help save lives.

"Going to rehab is five to ten times more expensive than a college education," said Ginger Katz, founder of the Courage to Speak Foundation. "Even if your kids don't do drugs, we need to get the word out to help prevent and help those with drug addictions. The Courage to Speak Foundation has students invite their parents to the event to celebrate the work of drug prevention."

Click here to read more.



Hour Staff Report
March 3, 2016

Blumenthal to hold forum - heroin epidemic

HARTFORD — Larry and Ginger Katz, co-founders of the Courage to Speak Foundation, and Darnell Crosland, president of the Norwalk NAACP, will be among those on hand Friday afternoon when U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal plays host to a forum to combat the heroin epidemic. The forum will be held at 3:30 p.m. Friday at the Southwest Community Health Center in Bridgeport.

Click here to read more





Son's death made her an activist - Norwalk woman tells of drug use tragedy

By Ruth Epstein
November 5, 2015


Ruth Epstein Republican-American Virginia 'Ginger' Katz speaks to students at Sharon Center School during a
recent assembly. Katz, whose son, Ian Eaccarino, died from a drug overdose at age 20, is the creator of the
Courage to Speak Foundation, formed to try to prevent families from going through a similar tragedy.


SHARON — Virginia "Ginger" Katz's son died young, but his story is being used to save others.
The Norwalk resident was at Sharon Center School last week to talk to parents one evening, and sixth- to eighth-grade students the next day, about her Courage to Speak Foundation.

Click here to read more.





In Heroin Crisis, White Families Seek Gentler War on Drugs

By KATHARINE Q. SEELYE
OCT. 30, 2015


Ginger Katz and her husband, Larry Katz, of Norwalk, Conn., lost their 20-year-old son Ian to a heroin overdose in
1996. She then started a foundation to try to end the silence surrounding addiction. Credit Katherine Taylor for The
New York Times


Ginger Katz of Norwalk, Conn., has equally lofty goals. After her son, Ian, 20, died of a heroin overdose in 1996, she founded the Courage to Speak Foundation to try to end the silence surrounding addiction, and she has developed a drug-prevention curriculum for schools and written a book, "Sunny's Story," told through the eyes of Ian's dog.   She is still traveling around the country speaking to students and their parents.

Click here to read more.  



Mrs. Katz's son, Ian, at 17.






Courage to Speak's Drug Prevention Night Moves Audience to Tears

By Katherine Du
October 12, 2015


Demetri Dassouras and a friend at the Courage to Speak Dinner. Credit: Katherine Du.

The 11th Annual Courage To Speak Empowering Youth to Be Drug Free Family Night, Ginger Katz's brainchild, took place on March 16, 2015 at West Rocks Middle School in Norwalk, Connecticut.

Click here to read more



Burlington High School parents attend 'Courage to Speak' drug addiction prevention presentation 

By Chris Warren
Posted Sep. 25, 2015 at 5:23 PM

BURLINGTON

When Ginger Katz took the stage at Burlington High School Sept. 17, she started by saying her son Ian died Sept. 10, 1996, due to an overdose of heroin mixed with Valium. He was 20 years old.

To save face, Ian's doctor suggested Katz tell people her son had died of an aneurysm. Instead, she told the truth.

Click here to read more.  




Drug Prevention Night Moves Audience To Tears

By: KATHERINE DU | March 17, 2015


The 11th Annual Courage To Speak Empowering Youth To Be Drug Free Family Night, the brainchild of Ginger Katz, took place on March 16 at West Rocks Middle School in Norwalk.

After her son Ian passed away in 1996 of a heroin overdose, Ginger had the choice to tell the world that he had died of a heart attack or an aneurism. She, instead, had a self-described “vision to speak out” that drove her not only to pen a drug prevention book titled Sunny’s Story, but also to found the Courage to Speak Foundation, which developed drug prevention education curricula for elementary, middle, and high schools around the nation. Her program has reached 16,800 students in Norwalk alone so far.

Click here to read more.  



Norwalk Takes Anti-Drug Stance At Courage To Speak Night

by Casey Donahue  03/17/15

NORWALK, Conn. -- The Norwalk community gathered at West Rocks Middle School on Monday night for the annual Courage to Speak Empowering Youth To Be Drug Free Family Night.

The night was hosted by the Courage to Speak Foundation, whose founder, Norwalk mom Ginger Katz, lost her son Ian to a drug overdose in 1996. Since her son's death she has worked to develop drug prevention curriculum and programs for schools to teach kids about the dangers of drugs and some refusal techniques. Her book, "Sunny's Story" tells her family's tale through the eyes of their pet beagle and has become regular reading in Norwalk schools and other districts around the state.


Click here to read more. 



IN PHOTOS: Courage To Speak Family Night Program At West Rocks School
Click here to see photos.




Ginger Katz’s promise to her son featured in ‘Chicken Soup for Soul’

Posted: Monday, November 3, 2014
By LESLIE LAKE Hour Staff Writer 

NORWALK — Since the 1996 loss of her 20-year-old son Ian Eaccarino to a heroin overdose, Ginger Katz made a promise to her son. The promise became a mission to speak out about drug abuse and the silence surrounding it, and developed into the non-profit Courage to Speak Foundation. Now along with the countless educational presentations she and her husband Larry have made to students, parents, and professionals, Katz has been given a new platform in which to convey her message.

Click here to read more. 




Lightfoot Running Series: Racing for a good cause at the Eaccarino 9-Miler
Posted: Saturday, August 9, 2014 
By BOB BIRGE
Hour Correspondent

NORWALK -- Many of the runners who participated in Saturday's 16th annual Ian Eaccarino Memorial Race at Calf Pasture Beach did so because they feel a personal connection to Ginger and Larry Katz.

The nine-mile race, the fourth of five progressively longer races in the Norwalk Lightfoot Summer Series, is run in memory of the Katz's son who died from a drug overdose in 1996 at the age of 20.

Click here to read more. 







Roundtable Tackles Heroin Epidemic, Narcan Antidote, and Tough Love
By: GREENWICHFREEPRESS | July 16, 2014


A recent roundtable discussion on the heroin epidemic and Narcan, an antidote for heroin overdoses, was organized by Greenwich firefighter, Kevin Coyner.

The July 10 panel included Courage to Speak Foundation‘s Ginger Katz who visited Greenwich High School this spring, sharing the story of her son Ian’s death at 22 from a heroin overdose.

Though in the 70s heroin was commonly associated with back alleys and the most alienated members of society, the drug has made a comeback and this time it does not discriminate in terms of race, socio-economic status or age, claiming lives in Greenwich as well as dozens of other Connecticut towns.


Click here to read more.


May 20, 2014

It’s Relevant: Young Minds Learn the Dangers of Drugs





May 19, 2014

Norwalk Daily Voice: Norwalk’s Ginger Katz to Speak at Norwalk Schools for Prevention Week

NORWALK, Conn. -- Two schools in Norwalk will host talks by Ginger Katz, the CEO and founder of The Courage to Speak Foundation. 

Katz, author of "Sunny's Story," will present "From Marijuana to Opiates" on May 19 at Briggs High School, “The Courage to Make Healthy Decisions,” on May 20 at Brookside Elementary School in Norwalk and “The Courage to Make Healthy Decisions based on Sunny's Story,” on May 21 at Madison Elementary in Bridgeport.

Click here to read more. 




May 16, 2014

Norwalk Daily Voice:  Courage to Speak’s Ginger Katz Speaks on Drug Dangers to Norwalk Students

NORWALK, Conn. - Ginger Katz, CEO and founder of The Courage to Speak Foundation, will speak at two Norwalk schools on the dangers of drug use and about how to make healthy decisions. 

Katz, who is also the author of "Sunny’s Story," will present “From Marijuana to Opiates,” on May 19 at Briggs High School in Norwalk and “The Courage to Make Healthy Decisions,” on May 20 at Brookside Elementary in Norwalk. The talks are based on her book, which is about her son Ian's struggles narrated from the perspective of the family beagle.

Click here to read more. 


March 19, 2014

It’s Relevant: Drug Free Vows Ring Through Norwalk




Courage to Speak Empowering Youth to be Drug Free Family Night






Norwalk mother delivers anti-drug message to Greenwich High students
Posted on April 11, 2014 By Paul Schott

Ginger Katz knows how to make a point to a large group.

That ability has come from a deep-seated passion and extensive public-speaking experience. But that career has tragic origins: Her 20-year-old son, Ian Eaccarino, died from an accidental heroin overdose in September 1996.

The same year, Katz and her husband, Larry, founded The Courage to Speak Foundation, which educates youth about drugs and encourages parents to speak with their children about drugs’ dangers. She has since delivered more than 1,000 presentations to hundreds of thousands of people, including students, teachers, parents, law-enforcement officials and clergy members.


Click here to read more. 




Ginger Katz visited Greenwich High School on Thursday to talk about her son, Ian. About 200 students filed into the auditorium and Wellness Teacher Kathy Steiner introduced Katz, who described her son as having had a big heart, which she attributed partly to his sister, Candace, who has Downs Syndrome.

Click here to read more. 





Heroin and New Canaan: Parenting

By: MICHAEL DINAN | March 20, 2014

Nancy Welch moved to New Canaan 10 years ago with her husband and three kids.


"At one month old, Ian was such a beautiful baby. He was perfect. I felt
so blessed." —Ginger Katz with her son, Ian. 


With one child now at each level in New Canaan Public Schools, Welch said she has become increasingly concerned about what officials are calling a rise in recent years of heroin’s availability and use in New Canaan and the region.

Click here to read more. 





Drug Free Vows Ring Through Norwalk
By: Kwegyirba Croffie
Norwalk, CT | Added on March 19, 2014 At 11:53 AM
   
"In honor of Ian, I promise never to try, take or abuse drugs and to encourage others to do the same"
"I am now positive that I will never do drugs for any reason," said Robbie, a seventh grader at Roton Middle School.

Click here to read more. 




COURAGE TO SPEAK EMPOWERING YOUTH TO BE DRUG FREE FAMILY NIGHT

The 10th Annual Courage To Speak Empowering Youth to Be Drug Free Family Night will take place on Tuesday, March 18, 2014, 5:15 p.m., at West Rocks Middle School in Norwalk (Snow date:  March 20).  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.

Click here to read more. 





Courage to Speak Education Makes an Impact
By: Kwegyirba Croffie
Norwalk, CT | Added on February 27, 2014 At 02:18 PM
   
The health curriculum at West Rock Middle School is taking a different approach to keeping kids drug-free.

By combining traditional warnings with personal pledges to stay drug-free, the Courage to Speak Foundation curriculum is making kids active participants.

Click here to read more. 




Everyone is talking about heroin in Norwalk.
Written by Leslie Yager
March 19, 2014

Along with their parents, children as young as grade school and middle school attended the 10th annual Courage to Speak family night on Tuesday at West Rocks Middle School to talk about drugs.


Seventh-grader Jason Iverson with sister Bryana, a third
grader, and their mother Firmina King who grew up in
Waterbury in the 90s when she said the drugs of choice
were cocaine and acid.

“It was sad and emotional,” West Rocks 7th grader Jason Iverson said, describing Ginger Katz’s visit to his school to talk about her 20-year-old son’s death in 1996 of a heroin overdose.

Click here to read more. 





Ginger Katz
February 3, 2014

ADDICTION - DRUGS DON’T DISCRIMINATE
On September 10, 1996, I lost my 20-year-old son, Ian, to a drug overdose just before he was going into a rehabilitation program the next day. Ian had used marijuana, tobacco and other drugs in high school. At one point he was picked up by an officer at a park with two other boys. He was scolded and told to go home. The officer said “If I ever find you in this town again with any drugs, I will arrest you. Now go home.”

Click here to read more. 






COURAGE TO SPEAK CLASS TO STRESS PARENTING SKILLS

By Matt Coyne

HourStaff writer
October 2013

NORWALK - The Courage to Speak Foundation is best known as an anti-drug organization, running workshops and programs to try to and keep children off drugs. While the foundation's upcoming Courage to Speak - Courageous Parenting 101 classes will cover that, parents who take the three classes will leave with something more. 

Click here to read more. 





Listen to the Podcast Interview with Angela Schaefers about Drug Addiction and the Courage to Speak



Lightfoot runners race in memory of Eaccarino

Andy Hutchison
Wednesday, July 31, 2013


Norwalk's Samuel Valencia, left, sprints to the finish of the 15th Annual Ian James Eaccarino Memorial -Mile Race.
Norwalk's Samuel Valencia, left, sprints to the finish of the 15th Annual Ian James
Eaccarino Memorial -Mile Race. Also pictured is Wilton's Steven Curceau. Valencia was
67th in a time of 1:20:39 and Curceau was 68th in 1:20:41. Contributed Photo / Andy Hutchis


Completing a 9-mile run is quite a feat, but participants in the 15th Annual Ian James Eaccarino Memorial 9-Mile Race last Saturday were running to accomplish more than fast times, personal bests or an age category award.

The race, which started and finished at Calf Pasture Beach, is part of the Lightfoot Running Club's summer series, and is held in honor of Eaccarino, who died as a result of a drug overdose at the age of 20 back in 1996.

Click here to read more. 




15th Annual Norwalk Memorial Race To Promote Healthy Living

by Robert Berczuk
July 24, 2013


Larry and Ginger Katz have organized the Ian James Eaccarino Memorial 9-Mile Race in honor of their late son. 
Photo Credit: Joseph Cole
NORWALK, Conn. -- The 15th Annual Ian James Eaccarino Memorial 9-Mile Race will take place at 8 a.m. Saturday at Calf Pasture Beach in Norwalk.

The event is promoted by the Lightfoot Running Club and The Courage to Speak Foundation.
Click here to read more. 


As one of the original members of the Lightfoot Running Club, Larry Katz has seen the Norwalk summer racing series increase in popularity over the years.

Now 73 years old, Katz ran in the New York City Marathon in 1983 and still volunteers at all the Norwalk races.

Click here to read more. 



Ginger Katz, CEO & Founder of the Courage to Speak Foundation and author of Sunny's Story,a drug prevention book, appeared on the O'Reilly Factor. Ms. Katz talked about drug prevention education, prosecuting drug dealers and keeping our children safe. "Loosening the drug laws would create more drug use," Katz opined, "and that means more crime, more overdoses, and more kids dropping out of school. It wreaks havoc on our country."    Click here to view the video 

Visit the Courage to Speak Foundation website to learn more www.couragetospeak.org
 
 


  


Local anti-drug crusader Katz appearance on O'Reilly Factor
By LESLIE LAKE 
Saturday, June 8, 2013


Ginger Katz and Bill O'Reilly after her interview

NORWALK -- Viewers of the Fox News Channel O'Reilly Factor saw a familiar face on Friday night, June 7th at 8:45pm as local anti-drug crusader Ginger Katz will join Bill O'Reilly to address the topic of reducing sentencing guidelines for drug dealers.

"My appearance on the show was spurred on by a letter sent by some celebrities to President Obama and Bill's reaction to the letter," Katz said. "A producer from Bill's show called me to speak about loosening laws regarding sentencing for drug dealers."

Click here to read more




15th Annual Ian James Eaccarino Memorial 9-Mile Race set in Norwalk

Friday May 17, 2013

Ginger Katz, CEO and Founder of The Courage to Speak Foundation and author of Sunny’s Story, announced The 15th Annual Ian James Eaccarino Memorial 9-Mile Race, which will take place on Saturday, July 27th at 8:00 am at Calf Pasture Beach in Norwalk, and is promoted by the Lightfoot Running Club.

Click here to read more



Prescription drugs: ‘No single solution’ to resolve addiction
Friday May 17, 2013

No parent should ever have to experience the pain Ginger Katz has felt for the last 17 years.

“I get calls from everyone — parents with kids who have died, or who have overdosed or who went to rehab and relapsed— trust me, you don’t want to be on that list,” said Ms. Katz, the founder of Courage to Speak Foundation and a frequent speaker on drug abuse. “You don’t want to know what this feels like.”

Click here to read more


Local anti-drug crusader Katz to appear on O'Reilly Factor 
By LESLIE LAKE 
Thursday, May 2, 2013


Ginger Katz and Bill O'Reilly after her interview

NORWALK -- Viewers of the Fox News Channel O'Reilly Factor will see a familiar face on Friday night May 3rd at 8pm and 11pm as local anti-drug crusader Ginger Katz will join Bill O'Reilly to address the topic of reducing sentencing guidelines for drug dealers.

Click here to read more




Mother whose son died from drug overdose shares heart-rending story: Her book relates boy's tale through eyes of the family dog

By Andrea Bulfinch
abulfinch@fosters.com
Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Courtesy photo Ginger Katz talks to seventh- and eighth-grade Dover Middle School students on Monday about the death of her 16-year-old son, Ian, from a drug overdose. She shares his story in a book titled "Sunny's Story," which tells Ian's story as seen through the eyes of the family dog.
Courtesy photo Ginger Katz talks to seventh- and eighth-grade
Dover Middle School students on Monday about the death of 
her 16-year-old son, Ian, from a drug overdose. She shares his
story in a book titled "Sunny's Story," which tells Ian's story
as seen through the eyes of the family dog.


DOVER — If one student can be saved from a fatal drug overdose, the work and time put into sharing her son's story will have been worth it for Ginger Katz, author of “Sunny's Story.”

The book tells the tale of her son Ian's death due to a drug overdose through the eyes of the family beagle. Dover Middle School students have each read the book and on Monday, heard from Katz herself as she spoke during two assemblies at the school with her husband Larry Katz, Ian's stepfather.

Click here to read more


Woman who lost son to drugs to tell Ian's Story
By Andrea Bulfinch
abulfinch@fosters.com
Saturday, April 6, 2013

DOVER — The story of Sunny the Beagle, a tragic tale of how a canine’s best friend was needlessly lost to drugs, will be told by “Sunny’s Story” author, Ginger Katz, to students at Dover Middle School Monday.

The story is inspired by the author’s son Ian’s losing battle with drugs.

Click here to read more


Giving people the Courage to Speak in Westford
By Joyce Pellino 
Crane GateHouse News Service
March 30, 2013 

Ginger Katz founded the Courage to Speak in 1996, just months after her 20-year-old son Ian James Eaccarino died of an accidental drug overdose. Katz is speaking at the Stony Brook Middle School, 9 Farmer Way, Tuesday, April 2 at 7 p.m. The Courage To Speak Foundation develops drug prevention curricula for elementary, middle and high school students as well as for parents through Courage to Speak -- Courageous Parenting 101. Katz speaks to parents and students of all ages. More information can be found at couragetospeak.org. The event is sponsored by Lowell General Hospital and the Westford Parent Connection.

Click here to read more



Families Empowered by Having the Courage to Speak®
By Andrew Brophy
Wednesday, March 20, 2013 


Andrea Mandujano, a fourth grade student at Brookside Elementary School
Andrea Mandujano, a fourth grade student at Brookside Elementary School, reads a letter to Ginger Katz, CEO
and founder of The Courage to SpeakAE Foundation, during the 9th Annual Courage to Speak Empowering 
Youth to Be Drug-Free Family Night at West Rocks Middle School in Norwalk on Tuesday, March 19, 2013.
Photo: Amy Mortensen


In death, Ian Eaccarino is helping others fight against the addiction he couldn't overcome in life. Hundreds of Norwalk middle-school students made a pledge this year not to use drugs after hearing of Eaccarino's battle with drug addiction and accidental death from a heroin overdose at the age of 20.

Click here to read more



Kids urged to remain drug free, parents encouraged to speak out at West Rocks event 
By ROBIN KAMINSKI 
Tuesday, March 19, 2013


Marc Abubo from Brookside Elementary School shows off his anti-drug art
Marc Abubo from Brookside Elementary School shows off his anti-drug art which is among many on display by local 
tudents Tuesday at the 9th annual Courage To Speak Empowing Youth to be Drug Free Night at West Rocks School.
Hour photo/Matthew Vinci


NORWALK -- For the past 16 years, Ginger Katz has countlessly relived the painful story of her son Ian's drug overdose in an attempt to dissuade children from going down the same path.

On Tuesday, Katz once again reached out to children and parents to talk about the dangers of drugs at the ninth annual Courage to Speak Empowering Youth to be Drug-Free Family Night at West Rocks Middle School.

Click here to read more


March 19, 2013 

Norwalk Students Take Drug-Free Vows
By: Mike Peal

 

Students from across Norwalk vowed a drug free future Tuesday night at West Rocks middle school.

Tuesday marked the Courage to Speak Foundation's ninth annual drug free family night, which aims to do exactly what it sounds like:  encourage families to stay drug free together.

Click here to read more


March, 15, 2013



Courage to Speak Family Night is set, Katz meets Clinton



The Courage to Speak Foundation will hold its 9th annual Courage to Speak Empowering Youth to Be Drug-Free Family Night at 5:15 p.m. on March 19, at West Rocks Middle School.

Click here to read more.


March 08, 2013 


Foundation Gives Students Courage to Speak - West Rocks to host 9th annual drug prevention event 
By: Mike Peal


Ginger Katz knows a little bit about a drug free community.  She's been advocating for one for 16 years -- ever since her own son, Ian, died of a drug overdose.
 
"I wasn't ashamed of my son," Katz says.  "He was a good kid but he made an unhealthy decision to use drugs.  And I was not going to lie about him."

Click here to read more. 


February 18, 2013


Teen drug use the focus of speaking event at New Canaan High
By Tyler Woods


Ginger Katz, founder of The Courage to Speak 
Foundation, shared the story of her son's  drug
use with 
parents gathered at New Canaan High
School on Feb. 6, 2013. Katz warned parents
that low-level 
teen drug use could develop into
addiction and dangerous consequences. 
Photo: Tyler Woods


Her son died after snorting heroin in the basement of her house nearly 17 years ago, and Ginger Katz has been sharing her story with children, teens and parents ever since.

Katz, the founder of the Courage to Speak Foundation, a Norwalk-based 501(c)(3), spoke to the public at New Canaan High School on Wednesday, Feb. 6.

Earlier in the week she had made the presentation to ninth- and 10th-graders in one session and 11th- and 12th-graders in another. The foundation works to engage home, school and community in a public health endeavor to keep children safe from drugs.

Click here to read more. 


February 5, 2013


Expert talks teen substance abuse in New Canaan Wednesday


Ginger Katz, CEO and founder of the Courage to Speak
Foundation,  with a photo of her late son Ian, will be in 
New Canaan on Wednesday, Feb. 6


Children will likely be offered alcohol, tobacco and other drugs, often many times, starting in middle school and continuing through high school. What can you do about this?

Learn about substance abuse and gain the knowledge and skills needed to keep your children safe at a town-wide presentation by Ginger Katz, CEO and founder of the Courage to Speak Foundation, on Wednesday, Feb. 6, 7:30 p.m. at New Canaan High School.

Click here to read more. 


January 8, 2013 




Grandparents Raising Teens Offered Free Talk By Ginger Katz

Raising a teen is no easy task, and for grandparents raising teenagers the thought of broaching tough subjects like alcohol use and bullying may be even more daunting. Community Renewal Team's Generations Campus that houses grandparents raising grandchildren is all too familiar with these struggles and is about to kick off a lecture and workshop series to help foster beneficial intergenerational communication strategies.

Click here to read more. 


September 26, 2012 

 

Courage to Speak Foundation opens family resource center

State Rep. Gail Lavielle (R-Norwalk) spent a lot of time with her summer interns, and she talked to the young people extensively about what they thought of the new Connecticut drug laws--the one decriminalizing possession and personal use of less than one half ounce of marijuana, and the one approving the medical use of the marijuana.

"They are very confused now. They don't really understand what's OK to do and what isn't, and really what is legal and what is not," Laveille told the people gathered at the opening of the Courage to Speak Foundation Family Resource Center in Norwalk last Friday morning. "And whether having anything to do with it at all is maybe OK.

Click here to read more.    


September 2012 

 
Courage to Speak Foundation Opens Resource Center

The Courage to Speak Foundation cut the ribbon on its Family Resource Center Friday morning.

The foundation, started by Ginger and Larry Katz after their son, Ian Eccarino, died of an accidental drug overdose in 1996, has made anti-drug presentations at schools across the country, but the resource center will allow students and parents increase access to the foundation's materials.

Click here to read more. 


July 30, 2012

 
New Haven runners take top two spots in Eaccarino Memorial 9-miler

NORWALK -- There was plenty of competition at the 14th annual Ian James Eaccarino Memorial 9-mile race on Saturday at Calf Pasture Beach in Norwalk as 164 runners officially crossed the finish line.

At the head of the pack were a pair of runners from New Haven as 20-year-old Colin Lu clocked in at 59 minutes and five seconds to place first and 31-year-old Joe Lauer finished a close second, just four seconds behind him.

Click here to read more. 



July 28, 2012  

 



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.

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July 21, 2012

"Drug Prevention Race to Save Lives" 
The 14th Annual Ian James Eaccarino 9 Mile Race 




June 27, 2012
  



Norwalk Mom Spreads Her Courage To Speak

by Christine Loughran

Drug addiction is not a character flaw, said Ginger Katz, the founder of the Courage to Speak Foundation. It’s a disease that requires professional help, just like any other.

“The problem doesn’t seem to be going away,” she said. “I’ve always said that if you don’t talk about a problem, you won’t be able to find a solution.”

Katz helped launch the Norwalk-based organization in 1996 after she lost her 20-year-old son Ian to a drug overdose. Her goal, which has now reached a national level, is to prevent her family’s tragedy from happening to others by raising awareness through educational programs as well as presentations and word of mouth.

Click here to read more.   


June 20, 2012 


Solis honored by Patriots for paying it forward

Sixteen volunteers from across New England, including Luis Solis of Norwalk, were honored as Myra Kraft Community MVPs by the New England Patriots Charitable Foundation in a ceremony at Gillette Stadium last week.

The Community MVP Awards, a program for the past 12 years, honor individuals who exemplify leadership, dedication and a commitment to improving their communities through volunteerism.

Click here to read more.  


June 15, 2012
 


Norwalk's Solis honored by Kraft family foundation

By CHRIS BOSAK
Hour Staff Writer

NORWALK -- Luis Solis, owner of Norwalk Pizza and Pasta and Don Carmelo's Mexican Grill, recently received a Myra Kraft Community MVP Award, which honors individuals who exemplify leadership, dedication and a commitment to improving their communities through volunteerism.

Solis volunteers with The Courage to Speak Foundation, which will receive a $2,500 grant from the New England Patriots Charitable Foundation as a result of Solis's honor. Solis, along with the Courage to Speak Foundation, were honored at the Myra Kraft Community MVP Award Luncheon held this week at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Mass. Patriots chairman and CEO Robert Kraft, pro football Hall of Famer Andre Tippett, Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, and tight end Rob Gronkowski were on hand to congratulate the winners. 

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May 23, 2012


Parent tells of son's struggle with drug abuse
by Eleanor Joyce

As Ginger Katz spoke, pictures of her son, Ian, playing sports and attending his prom were projected onto a screen May 9 at Bacon Academy.

Katz said Ian “was captain of the soccer team, and girls just wouldn’t leave him alone.” 
Ian, a college student, died in 1996 from an accidental drug overdose at home in Norwalk at the age of 20.


Click here to read more.  


May 2012


The Courage to Speak Tonight in Colchester

by Ryan Blessing

Ginger Katz, CEO and Founder of The Courage To Speak Foundation. Inc., will be giving the Courage to Speak Presentation, a dynamic, riveting and thought-provoking drug prevention presentation, at 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, at Bacon Academy.

Click here to read more.


March 29, 2012


'Courage To Speak' Presentations Are Monday 

Events will be held at high school and middle school during school day for students, and another event will be in the evening for parents.

By Caitlin Marquis

Ledyard Youth Services has announced that Ginger Katz, founder of The Courage to Speak Foundation, will visit Ledyard on Monday, April 2.

Katz, whose son died due to a drug overdose, now speaks to students and parents about the importance of open communication regarding drugs and alcohol.


Click here to read more. 


March 21, 2012

Students find courage to speak out against drugs

Since finding her 20-year-old son, Ian Eaccarino, dead in his bed from a heroin overdose on Sept. 10, 1996, motivational speaker, author and anti-drug advocate Virginia "Ginger" Katz of Norwalk has told her story thousands of times to parents, children, educators, religious leaders and law-enforcement officials.

The countless retelling hasn't dulled the pain, but it hasn't paralyzed her with inaction either.

Click here to read more.


March 15, 2012

Youth at Great Risk for Prescription Drug Abuse

Prescription drug abuse is a significant problem in the United States, especially among youth. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), prescription and over-the-counter medications account for most of the commonly abused drugs among high school seniors and 70 percent of these 12th graders said they were given to them by a friend or relative. Many assume they are safe because a physician prescribes these medications or they are legal and easily available in any convenience store

Click here to read more.


March 15, 2012



Drug Dangers? Katz Explains Tonight How to Have the 'Courage to Speak'

Connecticut mother Ginger Katz’s son, Ian, died of an accidental drug overdose when he was 20 years old.   Shortly after she and her husband, Larry, created the Courage to Speak Foundation and have dedicated themselves to speaking out against the danger that stole their son at such a young age - drug abuse and the code of silence that surrounds it.

Click 
here to read more.


November 16, 2011

Silence Kills

By Ginger Katz

At the cemetery of my son's Ian's burial, one of his close friends told me Ian was sexually molested at the age of 11. It was as though Ian died twice. After hearing this information, I asked several of Ian's friends what they knew. It turned out to be the truth.

Click here to read more.


October 25, 2011

Mom Teaches Darien Kids To Stay Off Drugs

by Casey Donahue

DARIEN, Conn. – A personal account of the dangers of substance abuse was presented to Middlesex Middle School eighth-graders when Ginger Katz gave a talk last week on her son Ian's death from a heroin overdose at the age of 20.

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 October 17, 2011

Courage to Speak - Courageous Parenting 101®

A FREE 3-session substance abuse education and prevention program for parents wishing to arm themselves with the knowledge of how to keep their children safe WHEN: October 20th at 6:30 pm WHERE: West Rocks Middle School 81 West Rocks Road, Norwalk, CT Continuing October 27th & November 3rd at 6:30 pm A Light Dinner Fare will be Served at 6:00 pm

Click here to read more.


October 12, 2011

Katz brings message of drugs to city parents

By Danielle Capalbo, Hour Staff Writer

NORWALK - She usually tells the story to children: That of the well-liked boy who earned his black belt in grade school, played sports in high school and took honors courses at the University of Hartford before overdosing on heroin at the age of 20. 

This month, however, Ginger Katz will bring the story of her son, Ian, to adults throughout Fairfield County with a drug prevention seminar called Courageous Parenting 101.

Click here to read more.


 October 11, 2011

Area School Hosts Courageous Parenting

by Joseph Cole

Ginger Katz is bringing her Courageous Parenting 101 course to West Rocks Middle School.
It's one thing to tell parents they need to talk to their children about the dangers of substance abuse. Ginger Katz of Norwalk knows that it is another matter entirely to communicate effectively.

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 October 10, 2011

Courage to Speak Foundation hosts series

Parents are invited to learn about substance abuse and gain the knowledge and skills needed to keep their children safe. A free parent education series, "Courage to Speak -- Courageous Parenting 101," developed by the Courage to Speak Foundation, will be offered in English and Spanish at West Rocks Middle School, 81 West Rocks Road, Norwalk.

Click here to read more.


 October 9, 2011

The Courage to Speak® Foundation – Ginger Katz – November 2011

A FREE 3-session substance abuse education and prevention program for parents wishing to arm themselves with the knowledge of how to keep their children safe WHEN: October 20th at 6:30 pm WHERE: West Rocks Middle School 81 West Rocks Road, Norwalk, CT Continuing October 27th & November 3rd at 6:30 pm

Click here to read more.


 October 7, 2011

"Courageous Parenting 101" Event in Norwalk

Posted by Ginger Katz

The Courage to Speak® Foundation is rolling out Courage to Speak- Courageous Parenting 101®, a drug education and prevention program for parents wishing to arm themselves with the knowledge of how to keep their children safe.

Click here to read more.


 October 5, 2011

Courage to Speak - Courageous Parenting 101

Posted by James M

It is a fact that our children will be offered alcohol, tobacco and other drugs, often many times, starting in middle school and continuing through high school. What can you do about this? Learn about substance abuse and gain the knowledge and skills needed to keep your children safe.

Click here to read more.


 October 2011

Courage to Speak - October 5 - 7pm

On Thursday, Sept. 22nd, our the 6th, 7th, and 8th graders at HKMS had the privilege of hearing Ginger and Larry Katz speak about their son Ian’s struggle with drugs and alcohol and how to prevent it.

Click here to read more.


 October 2011

The Courage to Speak® Foundation is offering Courage to Speak – Courageous Parenting 101®

The Courage to Speak® Foundation is offering Courage to Speak – Courageous Parenting 101® in both English and Spanish at West Rocks Middle School, 81 West Rocks Road, Norwalk, CT. As a prelude to the course, Ginger Katz, CEO and Founder of the Courage to Speak®Foundation will deliver theCourage to Speak® Presentation on Thursday, October 20, 2011 at 6:30 pm, followed by session one. Sessions two and three will follow on Thursday, October 27th and November 3rd at 6:30 pm. 

Click here to read more.


 September 30, 2011

Parenting 101

It is a fact that our children will be offered alcohol, tobacco and other drugs, often many times, starting in middle school and continuing through high school.  What can you do about this?  Learn about substance abuse and gain the knowledge and skills needed to keep your children safe.

Click here to read more.


 September 27, 2011

Knowledge is Power. Courage to Speak-Courageous Parenting 101® The Lesson That Could Save Your Child’s Life

It is a fact that our children will be offered alcohol, tobacco and other drugs, often many times, starting in middle school and continuing through high school. What can you do about this? Learn about substance abuse and gain the knowledge and skills needed to keep your children safe.

Click here to read more.


 September 22, 2011

Farmington Valley

Courageous Parenting 101: The Lesson That Could Save Your Child's Life

Submitted by Caroline Wilcox, Media Consultant McCall Foundation

It is a fact that our children will be offered alcohol, tobacco and other drugs, often many times, starting in middle school and continuing through high school. What can you do about this? Learn about substance abuse and gain the knowledge and skills needed to keep your children safe.

Click here to read more.


 August 8, 2011

Lightfoot runners cover nine miles in memory of Eaccarino

By Andy Hutchison, Correspondent

NORWALK -- It might not have been an easy run for everybody, but those competing in last Saturday's Lightfoot Running Club's race certainly had plenty of motivation to complete the 9-mile course which started and finished at Calf Pasture Beach.

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 June 21, 2011

Fontbonne Academy Workshop - "Courageous Parenting 101"

By Frank Schroth

On Monday, June 27, the Fontbonne Academy Parents Guild will be sponsoring "Courageous Parenting 101," a highly acclaimed substance abuse education and prevention workshop for parents of teenagers. Developed by the Courage to Speak Foundation, the seminar will cover topics including drug trends and current party culture, establishing and enforcing healthy limits for teens, and effective parenting styles.

Click here to read more.


June 16, 2011

Fontbonne to host workshop on teen drug use for parents

By Sarah Favot, Town Correspondent

The Fontbonne Academy Parents Guild is hosting "Courageous Parenting 101," a substance abuse education and prevention workshop for parents of teenagers, on Monday, June 27.

The workshop is developed by the Courage to Speak Foundation, a nonprofit organization founded to encourage youth to be drug-free and to help parents to communicate effectively with their children, according to its website.

Click here to read more.


 July 6, 2011

The Daily - Norwalk Paper logo.jpg

Norwalk Mom Dreams of an Army Battling Drug Abuse

By Joseph Cole

Norwalker Ginger Katz, with the support of her husband Larry, wants to raise an army. It is her goal — her wish — to see a battalion of mothers shout out in one singular voice that they will not be silent about the ravages of drug addiction.

Click here to read more.


 April 27, 2011

Courageous Parenting 101 available in Spanish

By Ginger Katz

I just couldn't believe it happened in our family.

I just couldn't believe that children are being exposed to this.

I just couldn't believe that drugs took my son.

Click here to read more. 


April 27, 2011

Courage to Speak now offered in Spanish

By Ginger Katz

I just couldn't believe it happened in our family.

I just couldn't believe that children are being exposed to this.

I just couldn't believe that drugs took my son.

 

Click here to read more.


 March 17, 2011

Rising above the influence

By Rachel Shapiro

On Tuesday, March 22, the district will hold "Rise Above the Influence," a program aimed at keeping kids away from drugs, alcohol cyber-bullying and other destructive decisions.

Click here to read more. 


March 16, 2011

Students have courage to say 'drugs aren't part of the plan"™

By David Hennessey

Ginger Katz remembers how her son Ian James Eaccarino liked to cuddle on the couch with her, his sister and his stepdad Larry Katz. She remembers how Ian became the captain of his soccer team at age 8. She remembers how, two years later, he earned a black belt in karate and, at age 11, came in second to a 14-year-old boy in a competition at Madison Square Garden. She remembers how he was voted the most popular boy in his fifth-grade class.

Click here to read more.


 March 15, 2011

Courage to Speak holds 'Family Night'

By Carol King, Hour Correspondent

The horror of drug use was the focus of the seventh annual Courage To Speak "Empowering Youth to Be Drug Free Family Night."

Click here to read more.


 February 26, 2011

hour

Courage to Speak's 'Empowering Youth to be Drug Free Family Night' slated Mar. 15

The seventh annual Courage To Speak "Empowering Youth to Be Drug Free Family Night" will take place on Tuesday, March 15, at 5:30 p.m., at West Rocks Middle School, 81 West Rocks Road, in Norwalk (Snow date: March 16).

Click here to read more.


 February 17, 2011

Malloy proposes decriminalizing pot

By Chase Wright, Hour Staff Writer

In an effort to cut costs and reduce the size of Connecticut's prison population, Gov. Dannel P. Malloy has proposed decriminalizing possession of marijuana and sentencing certain drunken drivers to house arrest instead of jail.

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 January 24, 2011

Courage to Speak - Courageous Parenting 101® course to be offered beginning Tuesday

A free parent education series, entitled Courage to Speak-Courageous Parenting 101® developed by the Courage to Speak Foundation will be offered by The McCall Foundation.

Click here to read more.


 January 18, 2011

For one school, holiday was a 'day on'

By Danielle Capalbo, Hour Staff Writer

There were no classes Monday, yet 11-year-old Elveret Thomas arrived at West Rocks Middle School ready to learn on the 25th anniversary of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.

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 January 17, 2011

Norwalk schools to celebrate MLK Day

By Danielle Capalbo, Hour Staff Writer

On the 25th anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Norwalk Public Schools will celebrate the man's life and legacy with a free event open to community members.

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 January 6, 2011

WOMAN of ACTION - Ginger Katz — A Celebration of Women

Ginger Katz recently wrote the novel Sunny's Story, which brought her message to life this year through the eyes of the family dog, Sunny, a keen and intelligent observer of the damage done by alcohol and drug use to her master, Ian.

Click here to read more.


 January 4, 2011

COMMENTARY: No child immune to addiction

COMMENTARY BY GINGER KATZ — On Sept. 10, 1996, I lost my 20-year-old son Ian to a drug overdose just before he was going into a rehabilitation program the next day. Ian had used tobacco, alcohol, marijuana and other drugs in high school. At one point he was picked up by an officer at a park in Norwalk, Conn. He was scolded and told to go home. The officer said "If I ever find you in this town again with any drugs, I will arrest you, now go home."

Click here to read more.


 January 3, 2011

Quincy Rotary Club, Mayor Tom Koch plan school program on drug dangers

By Jack Encarnacao

Next week will be Drug Awareness Week at both of the city's high schools.

Click here to read more.


 January 3, 2011

Courageous Parenting 101 to be rolled out in Spanish

The Courage to Speak® Foundation will provide Spanish teen drug prevention information for Hispanic families and will roll out Courage to Speak - Courageous Parenting 101® in Spanish at West Rocks Middle School at 81 West Rocks Road, Norwalk, on Wednesday, Feb. 9 and 16 at 7 p.m. The program will give parents the knowledge to keep their children safe from substance abuse.

Click here to read more. 


January 3, 2011

 

Parenting 101 adds class in Spanish

By Robert Koch, Hour Staff Writer

The Courage to Speak Foundation will bring its teen drug prevention program -- this time in Spanish language -- to West Rocks Middle School on two separate dates next month.

Click here to read more.


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