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2007 News

April 8, 2007

NPR : Voices from the War on Drugs
Ginger Katz
lost her son, Ian, to a drug overdose 10 years ago. She then founded The Courage to Speak, a foundation that works to prevent teen drug use. ... click here to read more.

October 2007
"
Parents Urged to Speak Up about Children's Drug Abuse"
By Elanie Marotta
Local Matters

The boy looks to be about 11. Wearing a gray, pin-striped suit, a crisp white shirt and a red tie, he smiles approvingly at his reflection in the mirror.

This athletic boy from a nice Norwalk family grew into a handsome young man, had plenty of friends and was a university honors student.

Then Ian died of a drug overdose at age 20. Today Ginger Katz, author of "Sunny'sStory: How to Save a Young Life" and CEO / founder of the Courage to Speak Foundation, Inc. is on a mission to educate parents and raise drug awareness so that the story of her son Ian will no longer be so
frightfully familiar to other families... Read full article here.

October 24, 2007
"Middle schoolers cautioned about drugs"
By Cathryn Keefe O'Hare
Danvers Herald

 A mother who found her son dead of a heroin overdose 11 years ago came to the Holten-Richmond Middle School Monday to teach the children how sad it is.

"Ian was very good at hiding things," said Ginger Katz about her son during her presentation to eighth-graders in multi-purpose room.

Deception, hiding, secrets - all are enemies in the fight against drug addiction, Katz said. The students listened intently to the tale of her son's journey to death at the age of 20 on Sept. 10, 1996, in his own bedroom just hours from finally getting the help he needed... Read the full article here.

October 23, 2007
"Grieving mom delivers powerful drug message at middle school"
By Amanda McGregor
Salem News

Ginger Katz's son Ian was a lacrosse star and an honors student with a wonderful family and a girlfriend - but he also had a heroin addiction, which took his life at age 20.

Ginger Katz delivered a riveting lecture at Holten Richmond Middle School yesterday morning, where eighth-graders sat in rapt silence listening to the way Ian's addiction quietly sucked away his life, until the morning his mother found him in his bedroom, dead from a heroin overdose... Read the full article here.

October 22, 2007
"Ginger Katz is on a mission to educate parents about drugs"
By Camilla A. Herrera
The Advocate, Stamford, CT

If Ginger Katz had known what she knows today about substance abuse, she would have been
better equipped to help her son, Ian, who died from an accidental heroin overdose 11 years ago.

"It's not a question of what-if," says the founder of Norwalk's The Courage to Speak, a foundation
she created soon after her son died to empower teens to remain drug-free and help parents
communicate with their children about the dangers of drug and alcohol use.

"I will tell you I didn't have the knowledge of what my son was exposed to."

Today, she knows what teens face, and to help other families avoid a similar tragedy, she will
introduce Courageous Parenting 101T, a free four-course substance abuse education and
prevention seminar for parents wishing to arm themselves with the knowledge Katz can now
share... Read the full article here.

September 30, 2007
"Groups to unite under Fairfield County Community Foundation"
By Wynne Parry
The Advocate, Stamford, CT

With hope of distributing dollars more efficiently, the Fairfield County Community Foundation has announced a merger with a similar Bridgeport-based group.

"It became quite obvious that we were doing the same things," said John Chiota, chairman of the Greater Bridgeport Area Foundation's board.

Last year, both organizations gave $6.2 million in the Bridgeport area. Slightly more than half came from the Wilton-based Fairfield County Community Foundation, Chiota said... Read the full article here.
 

September 20, 2007
"Educating Parents on Evils of Drugs"
By Jill Bodach
The Hour, Norwalk, CT

Ginger Katz wishes there was a course that would have explained how to talk to her son about drugs.

But there wasn't; and when her son Ian died of a drug overdose in 1996, Katz wanted to find a way to help other parents avoid the pain she experienced.

At first, Katz did that by focusing on young people.

For the past 11 years, Katz has spoken to thousands of elementary, middle and high-school students about the dangers of using drugs and alcohol through the Courage to Speak program.
Now, Katz is launching a new four-session substance abuse prevention and education program just for parents called Courageous Parenting 101T.

The program will be kick off on January 8, 2008... Read the full article here - Educating Parents on Evils of Drugs
 

August 2007
"Katz still has the Courage to Speak against drugs"

by A. J. O'Connell
The Stamford Times, Stamford, CT

It's been 11 years since Ginger Katz began telling the story of her son Ian Eaccarino's death. In the decade since her 20-year-old son died of a heroin overdose in her home, Katz, 59, has been a tireless advocate for drug prevention. She travels the nation, delivering 100 presentations every year to thousands of students, parents and communities. ... Read the full article here - Katz still has the Courage to Speak against drugs

August 24, 2007
"Kayaks and Causes"
by Brian Brennan
Northender.com, Oyster Bay, NY

What was sparked by two guys' unwillingness to back down from a bet has, seven years later, evolved into a hip annual event with high-profile corporate sponsors and hundreds of donors and participants.

In August of 2001, Scott Carlin and Miles Spencer, both of Southern Connecticut, sat with a friend who was visiting from Oyster Bay and gazed lazily out over the Long Island Sound. One or the other of them mused aloud that, though they had only kayaked once before, they could probably manage a kayak trip across the Sound to their friend's hometown... Read the full article here -  Kayaks and Causes.
 

August 20, 2007
Letters to the Editor
The Advocate

Every month, the Courage to Speak Foundation hosts a support group meeting for family members who have lost a loved one to drugs. Through sharing our saddest of experiences, we continue to give some comfort and solace to each other.

After my son Ian died in 1996 of an overdose, we started the Courage to Speak Support Group for families who have lost a child to drugs. Since we began the group, many families have walked through our door, and hundreds more have just called to share their sorrow with us. Many have e-mailed us...Read the full letter here - Letters to the Editor. Click here to read the letter on the Advocate website.
 

August 16, 2007
"Katz still has the Courage to Speak against drugs"
by AJ O'Connell
The Stamford Times

It's been 11 years since Ginger Katz began telling the story of her son Ian Eaccarino's death. In the decade since her 20-year-old son died of a heroin overdose in her home, Katz, 59, has been a tireless advocate for drug prevention. She travels the nation, delivering 100 presentations every year to thousands of students, parents and communities. She developed a drug prevention curriculum for elementary, middle and high school students. She and her husband Larry Katz this year published "Sunny's Story," which details Ian's descent into drug use from the family dog's perspective. This fall, she will unveil "Courageous Parenting 101T," a curriculum for parents which will help them prevent and identify drug use...Read the full article here -  Katz still has the Courage to Speak against drugs. Click here to see the original print.
 

July 30, 2007
"
Embarking on an Adventure With a Purpose"
by Jeanne Goodman
Norwalk Citizen News

With their maiden voyage in Kayak for a Cause, longtime friends and event cofounders Miles Spencer and Scott Carlin did not realize the community's enthusiasm for kayaking, people's desire for an adventure with a purpose or the corporate interest in backing something of this magnitude.

Tomorrow morning, 330 people are registered to launch kayaks from Calf Pasture Beach and paddle 12.4 miles across Long Island Sound to Crab Meadow in Huntington, N.Y., for the Nautica/GQ ITAL Kayak for a Cause VII. Each paddler has raised a minimum of $500 for five local charities: The Courage to Speak Foundation, The Hole in the Wall Gang, Outward Bound Connecticut, Save the Sound and CancerCare ITAL CARE of Connecticut.... Read the full article here - Embarking on an Adventure With a Purpose

July 27, 2007
"Mother's anti-drug crusade looks back on successful decade"
By Jamie DeLoma, Special Correspondent
The Advocate

Ginger Katz has transformed a family tragedy into a decade-long national crusade to educate students and parents about the life-threatening dangers of drug abuse.

Katz, president of the Norwalk-based Courage to Speak Foundation and author of "Sunny's Story," a children's book about her son Ian's battle with addiction, remembers him as a bright, handsome, athletic and popular 20-year-old when he died of a drug overdose on Sept. 10, 1996... Read the full article here - Mother's anti-drug crusade looks back on successful decade

July 15, 2007
"Causeway Kayakers paddle the Sound to raise $$ for charities"
By Moina Noor, Special Correspondent
The Advocate

On Saturday, July 28, Walter Hotz will wake up at the crack of dawn to kayak across the Long Island Sound, from Norwalk to Crab Meadow in Huntington, N.Y., and back. The 74-year-old Stamford resident will not make this arduous 12-mile journey on his own - he'll be joined by a flotilla of more than 300 other paddlers participating in Kayak for a Cause. The group hopes to raise $1 million for local charities...Read the full article here - Causeway Kayakers paddle the Sound to raise $$ for charities.Click here to watch a video clip about Kayak for a Cause (FOX Channel 6).
 

June 29, 2007
"Courage to Speak crew to take part in L.I. Sound kayaking fundraiser"
The Hour

Ginger Katz, president of The Courage to Speak Foundation, has announced formation of a Courage to Speak kayaking team that will be part of Nautica/GQ Kayak For A Cause VII on Saturday, July 28, starting at Calf Pasture Beach and celebrating at Veterans Park in Norwalk. The Courage to Speak Foundation is one of five organizations benefiting from this extraordinary annual event that is expected to draw nearly 300 kayakers... Read the full article here - Courage to Speak crew to take part in L.I. Sound kayaking fundraiser


June 10, 2007
"For the Children, a Mother Revisits Her Sorrow"
By Micheal Winerip, The New York Times

GINGER KATZ stood at the front of the auditorium at Little Falls School No. 1, waiting for the 200 seventh and eighth graders to settle down.

Behind her, projected on a big screen, were photos of her son, Ian, from their family album:

Ian as a newborn with his mom. Ian getting his black belt in karate. Ian playing his trumpet in the marching band. Ian beaming at the camera the year he was voted most popular fifth grader. Ian standing happily with his older sister, Candace, who has Down syndrome. Ian playing baseball. Ian, the third-highest scorer on his high school lacrosse team. Ian with his beautiful date at the senior prom. Ian being handed his high school diploma. Ian, the honors college student.

And then, after the middle schoolers had time to absorb all those inspiring photos, Ms. Katz began her hourlong presentation as she almost always does. "Ian died Sept. 10, 1996, in his sleep of a heroin overdose," she said. "This is why I'm here."...Read the full article here - For the Children, a Mother Revisits Her Sorrow

March 7, 2007
"150 attend drug free program"
By Harold F. Cobin, Hour Correspondant
A couple's 10-year quest to get young people to avoid substance abuse continued Tuesday evening with their foundation's annual family night dinner and speaking program at West Rocks Middle School...Read full story here - 150 attend drug free program

March 6, 2007
"
Children's book tells sad tale through beagle's eyes"
By Jill Bodach, Hour Staff Writer
The Hour
What if man's best friend could communicate about all the things he witnesses when his owners think no one is watching or listening? That is the question that led anti-drug advocate Ginger Katz to write a story about the death of her son, Ian, from the perspective of Ian's pet beagle, Sunny - that and a moment she shared with Sunny the night Ian died... Read full story here - Children's book tells sad tale through beagle's eyes

February 26, 2007
News Channel 12 Video Clip
- Click here.

February 24, 2007
"
Norwalk mom hopes to save others by chronicling son's drug addiction"
Norwalk mom is spreading the word of drug awareness with a new book Norwalk mom hopes to save others by chronicling son's drug addiction 

February 15, 2007
"'Sunny's Story' Tells of Loss of Dog's Best Friend"
By Lauren Garrison
Norwalk Citizen News
Fourth graders at Brookside Elementary School got a sneak preview last week of "Sunny's Story," a not-yet-released book by Norwalk resident Ginger Katz, along with Marci Alborghetti, that tells the tragic tale of how a young man became involved in using drugs and eventually overdosed and died...Read the full story here - 'Sunny's Story' Tells of Loss of Dog's Best Friend

February 10, 2007

"Anti-drug advocate pens children's book"

By Amada Cuda
Connecticut Post

When Virginia "Ginger" Katz's son Ian smoked his first cigarette and drank his first beer, she didn't see it. But Ian's pet beagle, Sunny, did. Sunny was also there when Ian died in 1996 of a heroin overdose at age 20. So when Katz, founder of the anti-drug organization Courage to Speak, decided to write a book about Ian's drug abuse and death, she chose to write it from Sunny's viewpoint. The result is "Sunny's Story," (Ginger and Larry Katz, $12.95), co-written by Katz and children's author Marci Alborghetti.... Read the full story here - Anti-drug advocate pens children's book

February 9, 2007
"Courage To Speak aims to get parents, children reading and talking"
By Jamie DeLoma, Special Correspondent
The Advocate
At Brookside Elementary School yesterday, Ginger Katz shared difficult life lessons with fourth-graders. It's never too early to discuss the dangers of alcohol and drugs, said Katz, whose 20-year-old son, Ian Eaccarino, died of a drug overdose in 1996. To help start the conversation, she self-published a children's book, "Sunny's Story." Katz co-wrote it with Marci Alborghetti...Read full story here - Courage To Speak aims to get parents, children reading and talking

February 9, 2007

"Drug crusader unwilling to let sleeping dogs lie"

By Harold F. Cobin, Hour Correspondent

The Hour, Norwalk, CT

A dog's account of watching his young owner succumb to drug abuse was read to fourth-graders at Brookside Elementary School Thursday in a trial of a program that discourages children from using drugs and helps parents and teachers provide support in avoiding them...Read the full story here -  Drug crusader unwilling to let sleeping dogs lie

January 14, 2007

"Local program speaks volumes about teens, drug abuse"

By James Walker, Hour correspondent

The Hour, Norwalk, CT

Ginger Katz and Gov. M. Jodi Rell have something in common.
In 2007, every teen in America at some point is going to be "asked to do drugs" and the two women believe the strong voice of parents can act as a deterrent...Read the full story here - Local program speaks volumes about teens, drug abuse.

January 10, 2007

"Loud and clear drug message"

By Chris Gosier, Staff Writer

The Advocate

A school auditorium full of children was silent yesterday as Ginger Katz described the day her 20-year-old son, Ian, said he wanted to break his addiction to heroin... Read the full story here - Loud and clear drug message. View related photo here.

January 10, 2007

"Grant to fund school anti-drug program"

By Anna Gustafson, Hour Staff Writer

The Hour, Norwalk, CT

Thanks to an $18,000 grant from the Fairfield County Community Foundation to The Courage to Speak Foundation, Brookside Elementary will be able to pilot a substance abuse prevention and education program for fourth-grade students... Read the full story here - Grant to fund school anti-drug program.

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