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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"

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View the comments and stories from students, parents, educators and more about how the drug prevention programs and drug prevention speaker, Ginger Katz, has made an impact on their lives.

All entries were screened for their appropriateness for this website before being posted. All entries were made public to this View Guest Book page by permission of their authors. Post your own entry

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Name: Amy Olsen
E-mail:        
Date: 11/30/2011
From: New Canaan, CT
Where did you find us? From a Friend

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Comments:    I seem to think about Ian a lot more during holidays. How much I still miss him. In a quiet place in my mind I can still hear his laugh and see his beautiful smile. Missing you always xooxo, Amy

Name: Danny
E-mail:         Dannybarrand@hotmail.com
Date: 9/21/09
From: Norwalk, CT
Where did you find us? Just Surfed On In

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Comments:    Dear Ginger and Larry Katz I Saw your Video From Family Night 2009 I Just Wanted to Say That Cablevision did a wonderful Job Shooting The Event and Stuff And I agree with everything that was said in the video including what The Police Officer Said About Failure to Get Involved Can Lead to Tragic Consequances and Yes its Better To Speak Out Rather Than Keep It Hidden And you Got a Wonderful Program Keep on Speaking Out Within Time The World Will Change Thank you Ginger And Larry For Trying your Best to Save Lives i Support you guys

Name: Karen Williamson Eason
E-mail:        kaysdelivered@yahoo.com
Date: September 10, 2009
From: Norwalk, CT
Where did you find us? Just Surfed On In

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Comments:    I have no idea where to start. I never experienced anything like this before. Ian and I were really good friends since the fourth grade. I was one of his best friends from the moment he moved here. My heart was broken when I got the call that Ian had passed away. On the last day of school (elementary) a few of us would head over to Ian's house and have a little get together, boy do I miss those days. Life was so simple then.
 
Mrs. Katz I applaud you for your strength to go on and your willingness to help others. Thank you for sharing the pictures Lil' Ian is what I remember most. That's when I shared a special relationship with Ian. When we graduated from 8th grade he asked me to never forget about him as we would venture off to Hish School. He signed my yearbook like this "Love your best white boy friend". So today I sign this guest book like this.
 
I will always love you and I thank of you often,
"Love your best black girl friend"
Karen

Name: Michelle
E-mail:        cv09@comcast.net
Date: 06/28/09
From: Wisconsin
Home Page:http://www.choicevsion09.com
Where did you find us? From a Friend

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Comments:   Dear Ginger & Larry,

Thank you so much for traveling to Wisconsin to share your message of tragedy & hope at our event. Many of our audience members were moved beyond words.  You know our story, recovering addicts just trying to educate the public first hand on the horrors of addiction, and how there is hope and where to find help.  We have made it our personal
quest to share with others.  Being anonymous just isn\'t an option for us anymore, we needed to let people know what happened, and how to get back from the dark grip drugs have on an addict.  Ginger, people's lives were changed when you were here.  I know for myself I cannot change the past and the hurt I have caused others especially my family.  However, I can make amends by staying clean. At first, being a part of the "in crowd" was the most important thing to me, so I wanted to fit in.  I started partying and before I knew it I turned into someone who, if wasn't using, would have never done the things I did in my addiction.

This was our first of many annual events to come.  Our goal was to at least help one person out there.  With your help, we exceeded our goal.

On behalf of the Choice Vision 09 Core Advisory Committee members we thank you from the bottom of our hearts.

God Bless you and Larry.

Name: Sarah
E-mail:        srahmills@gmail.com
Date: 03-31-09
From: United States
Home Page: http://www.nationalhotline.org/
Where did you find us? Just Surfed On In

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Comments:   This site is great because of the relevant messages about drugs and alcoholism it shares. It proves to be very useful to parents, who are seeking for ways to educate their children about the harmful effects of drugs and alcohol.

Name: Jennifer Wagner
E-mail:        dadiesgrl31@yahoo.com
Date: 1-31-09
From: California
Home Page: http://
Where did you find us? Just Surfed On In

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Comments:   I lost my beautiful brother Stephen Joseph Koziatek to an accidental heroin overdose on 11-11-07 he was only 18 years old. I think it is great what you have done here and i too look to get involved with other kids to educate them on the dangers of this.

Name: tomi
E-mail:        tomi@hotmail.com
Date: 11-14-08
From: new york
Home Page: http://
Where did you find us? Just Surfed On In

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Comments:   you came to my school today, henry h wells middle school in brewster. i was really touched and i began to cry even though i don't know you personally. its just so sad so i promise not to ever smoke. im 12 in 7th grade. almost the age that ian started to smoke. get better mrs. and mr. katz. speak out!

Name: Natalie Feliciano
E-mail:        natalie.03@hotmail.com
Date: November 1, 2008
From: West Hartford, CT
Home Page: http://
Where did you find us? Clicked on our Banner Advertisement

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Comments:   I think what Mr. and Mrs. Katz are doing is truly inspirational. After hearing Ian's tragic story, I won't ever do drugs. It is just so sad that such a sweet person had to leave this earth in such a sad way. My heart goes out to his family and friends, and even his dog. Thank you, Mr. and Mrs. Katz, for doing what you're doing to make the world a better place for all.

Name: DARE Officer John Grazioso
E-mail:        jgrazioso@ci.quincy.ma.us
Date: 10/17/2008
From: Quincy MA.
Home Page: http://
Where did you find us? Search Engine

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Comments:   Heard Ginger Katz's talk in Quincy MA. 10/16/2008. A very heart wrenching story that many families are going through these days. Thanks for opening the curtains and revealing what is happening in our communities. God bless you.

Name: Rev. Julian Bradford
E-mail:        FatherJulian@priest.com
Date: 9/3/08
From: RI
Home Page: http://
Where did you find us? Just Surfed On In

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Comments:   A very good, concise and caring website. Good luck and God
bless you in your efforts.

Name: Christy
E-mail:        qual1cah@aol.com
Date: August 23, 2008
From: Connecticut
Home Page: http://
Where did you find us? From a Friend

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Comments:   Dear Ginger and others,
Today I once again visit your web site after a painful few years. Many
things have happened including numerous injuries and accidents resulting in
serious injuries to my elderly parent. We have been through soooo very much
over te last few years so I can identify and empathize with all of you
reagrding your struggles your pain and you inner battles, I have had and
still have many of my own!
I have had the fortune of getting back in touch with and trying to assist
whenever I can, another phenomenal and courageous woman, Mrs. Jan Smolinski
from COnnecticut... Jan and Bill Smolinski lost their son Wiliam Smolinski,
Jr 4 years ago he has been declared missing. They have gone through man
hours of anguish, suffering, questions and doubt regarding this situation,
and many dark aspects of this seem to have some deep connections with
individuals which had/have drug /alcohol abuse issues.... there is NO end to
this epidemic
it has reached pandemic proportions past epidemic stages.....methampetamines
have reached the East Coast, Eastacy remains popular to many party going
youth,
Ketamine is readily avaialable, VIACodone has only increased as a super
popular pain killer PLUS and more things like COCAINE, CRACK and "CHAT"
- popular in South America, keep coming into and going around the U.S....
 
SO what do we do? What can we do?
Just what your doing continuing on, sending the truth,
telling the truth speading the word.....
joining forces with other groups, networking, sharing ideas, lessons
learned, what works best where... how certain hurdles were overcome and
progress made.....Don't GIVE up!
Let's work at finding the reasons for the ever growing attractions and
irresistable lures that these drugs have that oour children and family
members can't resist!!!
Have them tell there stories, why? How? where? When?? What got them to
think this was a better way to feel good, good about themselves, about their
world? How and when did they realize they were addicted?
Studies would the help with some studies?
The Hazelden Foundation, Th eDrug Free Partnership, the DEA, - many may be
able to benefit from networking, from positive partnerships, joint ventures
and activities ...
get more kids and families back into positive outdoor activities and places,
creating positive outdoor places like rails to Trails /Greenways,
Ponds/lakes safe and clean enough to kayak, to fish, to canoe and boat on,
Mountain biking, bike riding, cross country skiing and snow shoeing....
There are so many things we CAN do together as friends and families support
and strengthen that BOND TODAY!
 
we have no time to lose!!!!
 
For our Childrens sake, our families sake, our Communities sake and our Very
Country's SAKE!!!
Wake Up America!

Name: Andrea
E-mail:        andrea27272@yahoo.com
Date: 1/18/08
From: Houston
Home Page: http://
Where did you find us? From a Friend

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Comments:    I was affected by your speech because i have had problems with drugs in the past. Marijuana,  coke,  xanax bars,  speed,  shrooms and pcp.  I know how addictive these drugs are because i am an addict.  I have been going to rehab for the past 2 years.  I am 15 and im trying to start a new life even though it is very hard.  I dont want to hurt my family anymore especially my mom.  Thanks to you I actually WANT to quit doing drugs and smoking everyday. And im very sorry for your loss.

Love,
Andrea

Name: Jessica
E-mail: redrover564@sbcglobal.net
Date: 10/9/07
From:
Home Page: http://
Where did you find us? Just Surfed On In

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Comments: Ginger Katz it is so truly amazing what you do. It must be so incredibly difficult to lose someone you love so much. And to such a terrible thing it must be even worse. And confronting the topic nearly everyday. I wouldn't be able to.
You've helped so many people. So many people which would have otherwise fell to drugs. I truly admire you for your efforts. So very much so.

I will never do drugs. Neither would I let anyone I know do drugs.

Name: JosephColletta
E-mail: MCAMLFOUNDATION@optonline.net
Date: October 1, 2007
From: Smithtown, New York
Home Page: http://
Where did you find us? From a Friend

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Comments: I must commend your good work and dedication Ginger. I also lost someone, my wife Marilyn, who was given only three weeks to live. But because I could not accept what we were told, I became her advocate and managed to find the right research doctors who gave us six months more together. Like you, I started a 501c3 foundation in Marilyn's memory and raise funds to support ongoing research for Acute Myelogenous Leukemia and other auto-immune. To date our foundation actually cured 13 individuals with early stages of MS using drugs developed by our private funding. Although people like you and I will never be able to bring back what we lost, but we can help others to live and not suffer as our loved ones and we did. Keep up your good work and may God bless you for caring

Name: Annmarie
E-mail: amms@embarqmail.com
Date: 10/01/2007
From: NJ
Home Page: http://
Where did you find us? Just Surfed On In

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Comments: My family is going through this incredibly painful journey. We have been active in our son's life and watching and as he decides whether to choose life or drugs. The miracle is out there, wanting to be there for him, but, so are the drugs. My pain is overwhelming at points as I come to the realization that he may die from this or perhaps struggle his entire life with it. I think kids are just so vulnerable when they are young, so immortal, so pressured and so curious- the fact is that people, families and lives are crushed by drugs. We followed all the suggestions, had our heads out of the sand and were there, communicating, being part of and watching our son as he lied and lied and lied to us. We are struggling to keep it together every day. Our 12 Step programs keep us on track. Sometimes, though, it's just time to cry as well. I loved finding your site. Thank You. Thank You. Thank You. You are OUR soldiers out there, the most brave!

Name: Annonymous
E-mail: sprtscutie258@aim.com
Date: June 21, 2007
From: Scofield
Home Page: http://
Where did you find us? Search Engine

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Comments: Hey...ummm you came to our school to talk to us about the incident. It was really sad and I didn't know how it was possible for anyone to do that. Unfortunately, drugs took over some of us and once we change our minds, we can't turn back. It really sucks. Sometimes I wish that those who suffer from this, had a talk like you gave us. So they could see what would happen. Its kin of like that if this didn't happen, many lives would have been gone by now. But since you showed us the choices, we took our own and survived. Things happen in order for everyone to learn. I am so sorry about your son, Ian. He looked like a great man. And if anyone who knew him thought it was their fault...it wasn't. It was nobody's fault. I guess it was just a way to tell us all to watch out for ourselves and each other. Thanks so much for telling us about your son. It helped a lot.

Name: Doreen
E-mail: dlockwood@pfcsinc.org
Date: June 19, 2007
From: Carmel, NY in Putnam County
Home Page: http://
Where did you find us? NewsGroups

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Comments: I was moved by the article in the New York Times, "For the Children, a Mother Revisits Her Sorrow." Mrs. Katz, you are an amazing and courageous woman and I am privileged to have heard your story. I have been an addictions professional for over twenty years and have heard this story too many times to count. Your experience and message to our communities is a most valuable one. You and your organization can touch so many lives and make a difference in the way we all respond to our loved ones and neighbors who are suffering from alcohol and other drug addiction. I will pass this information on in our community. Thank you.....

Name: Karen
E-mail: karendw37@optonline.net
Date: 6/14/2007
From: Norwalk, CT
Home Page: http://
Where did you find us? From a Friend

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Comments: Dear Larry and Ginger Katz:
Thanks so much for having the Courage to Speak and for touching so many lives. You not only spoke about how drug abuse changed your lives, but you also encouraged us as parents to be more involved in our children's lives by doing the following:

. Have the courage to listen to our children
. Have the courage to accept the truth instead of being in denial
. Pay attention to the warning signs even if everyone thinks you are being paranoid
. Stop making excuses for our kids, allow them to take responsibility for their actions
. Stop enabling them by not having consequences for their actions
. Understand that our kids live in OUR houses and WE make the rules
. Practice tough love, knowing that we love them so much that we just want what is best for them
. Be strong
. Take the time to get to know our children's friends
. Get involved in their activities
. Really look at our kids
. Encourage them and just love them with all our hearts, knowing that they need us but we need them more

Name: Jess
E-mail: oxlilirishgurlxo@aol.com
Date: June 4th 2007
From:
Home Page: http://
Where did you find us? From a Friend

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Comments: Dear Ms and Mr katz


I understand how hard it was after Ian died. I know a person who died and I really did not know him but he knew my family. It was my cousin. I was 1 and he was 18. I always figured that he would watch over me and protect me and I think my brother and mom felt the same way. I can understand how hard it is to lose somebody. Even though I did not know him very well, I'm sure that he would have loved me and I would have felt the same way about him. I am very moved by your website and I think that Ian is now your angel to you your husband and family.

Name: Retired Fire CaptainPaul Beckingham
E-mail: firescapes@bmts.com
Date: May29/07
From: Toronto
Home Page: http://www.cafepress.com/firescapes
Where did you find us? Just Surfed On In

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Comments: Very informative site...I have added you to my favorites and will be back.,.keep up the good stuff!!.please feel free to drop by and view my Fire & EMS art and sign the book...stay low,stay safe regards Capt Paul

Name: Patricia Trovato-Ragano
E-mail:
steelmagnolia222@yahoo.com
Date:
5/20/2007
From:
pittsburgh
Home Page:
http://projectghb,org
Where did you find us?
NewsGroups

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Public

Comments:
My son, Matthew Michael, died on september ,1 1999 related to GHB addiction and overdose. He was 26 years old and a body builder. My life will never be ok again, I still ask, why??????????
Patti, Matthew's Mom projectghb.org.

Name: Dotty
E-mail: ddata@aol.com
Date: 3-10-2007
From: Trumbull
Home Page: http://
Where did you find us? NewsGroups

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Comments: I took my 7 and 9 year old to hear Mrs. Katz speak. In parenting it was one of the best days I will always remember. THANK-YOU for the bottom of my heart!!

Name: Renee Denner
E-mail: bobnney1120@aol.com
Date: 03/07/07
From: Norwalk, CT
Home Page: http://
Where did you find us? NewsGroups

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Comments: Ginger is an amazing person that every parent and teenager should be grateful for the courage and determination she has to save other mothers and fathers from going through the tragic pain of loosing a child. I can't find the words to thank her enough. In this day and age, with so many drugs of choice and so easy access to them, this world could use some more Gingers, but honestly, I don't know honestly, coming from a mother of a drug user, if I lost my son, if I could have as much courage as she. I feel the reason she does, is because she is our gift from God. Our Angel. Renee Daniels Denner

Name: Alexander Lindsay
E-mail: Lindsay300@aol.com
Date: 2/26/07
From: Kings Park, NY formerly Norwalk (Harbow View)
Home Page: http://
Where did you find us? NewsGroups

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Comments: You are doing God's work. I sure many people have been saved by your message on the dangers on illegal drugs.

Name: Diane, SarahsMom4ever
E-mail: land.feeney@att.net
Date: 02/25/2007
From: Maryland
Home Page: http://
Where did you find us? From a Friend

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Comments: Your mission and this site are awesome. My only child, Sarah, died from an overdose of heroin and cocaine 11/23/05. She was only 20 years and 25 days young. I have been connecting via the internet with others who are surviving similar losses. A friend sent me this link. I, too, wish that I could do something, anything, to save another parent from having to face the unimaginable pain that comes from burying your child. I am encouraged and inspired by what you have done to honor Ian's life. May God bless you and your efforts to save others from our fate.

Name: Elaine
E-mail: sizzle555@aol.com
Date: 2/21/07
From: Mass.
Home Page: http://
Where did you find us? Just Surfed On In

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Comments: My heart goes out to you and your family. I lost my 20 yr. old grandson on Jan. 14th. 2006. from 1 pill of methadone. He had an allergic reaction from it. I know the real pain and sorrow that you are going through and it is very sad that this is happening to our children. I pray that the government will try much harder to get the drug dealers of the streets and help our children to be safe. May God Bless you and your family.

Name: Fran
E-mail: fcolemanct@yahoo.com
Date: 2/13/07
From: East Norwalk
Home Page: http://
Where did you find us? NewsGroups

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Comments: As a recovering Heroin addict I know to well the horrors of
addiction. It does not matter who you were, where you came from, your
grades in school, your status in life. Heroin does not care at all about
any of these things! Drugs are not cool. Drugs control you you don't control them.

Listen and learn. Do not put your loved ones through what Ginger & her
family have been through. What Ian's friends have been through. What
his doggy went through. Believe it or not pets do feel our pain and they
do know when there is trouble on the horizon.

I am clean & sober today. I thank my higher power and my loved ones
everyday for loving me and not giving up on me. I thank my cats too. LOL.

If you or a loved one is suffering from an addiction of any kind PLEASE
RUN to your nearest treatment facility. Local hospitals have detox
units. "Norwalk Hospital" and the "LMG" programs are great places to
start your journey to recovery. Call 211 for information. It is free from
any phone. Go to your family/friends. They are not "mad" at you they
are worried about you and want you with them forever.

I will keep Ginger and her family in my prayers. I keep every addict
clean or not in my prayers. Those who are winning the battle today and
those who lost the battle yesterday are in my prayers.

Bless ALL of you. No matter your role in recovery (addict or a
supporter of an addict) please don't give up. Someone loves you even though
you may not believe it at the time.

Have a great Valentines Day everyone. You are loved and appreciated.
 Name: Lisa McCarthy
E-mail: faceonu@aol.com
Date: 2/10/2007
From: Ansonia,Conn
Where did you find us? NewsGroups

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Comments: I read about you and your book in the Conn. Post this evening. Having lost our son Keith at age 20 almost one year ago 2-26-06, now, to a heroin overdose also, i felt as if it were me. I have spoken at his and my daughters high school only once, but it was powerful. After having Keith in 16 rehabs in less than 2 years we KNOW the pain of drug addiction.Especially as we had picked him up just 1 and 1/2 hours before his death. Bless you for your courage. I have not yet found mine. Lisa McCarthy
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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