The Circleville Elks Club recently donated $1,500 to the Pickaway County Community Foundation’s Ruth Neff DARE Support Fund, a program that promotes Drug Abuse Resistance Education.
“The Elks recognize that our community, like many others around the country, is in a constant battle to combat drug abuse and protect our youth from the pressures of those who would selfishly encourage them to begin using drugs,” said Joe Valone, exalted ruler of the local club. “We hope that this donation will assist our local DARE program in its efforts to provide our youth with drug awareness and prevention education.”
Dan Litzinger, chair of PCCF, said the support fund was initiated a few years ago through the advocacy and vision of Ruth Neff and supported by her grandchildren and a number of donors.
“It has permitted in-class instruction in all four school districts of Pickaway County,” Litzinger said. “At the Foundation, we are confident that it has made a difference and will continue to play a key role in fighting an issue that has been destructive to individuals, families and our Pickaway County community.”
Litzinger said Ruth Neff is considered the founder of DARE in Pickaway County, going back to 1990.
“Her absolute determination to identify ways to counteract the deplorable influences of an ongoing drug culture is a legacy that we all can rally around,” he said. “We are grateful for the concern and response that this donation from the Elks represents.”
The Circleville Elks donates over $15,000 per year to more than 30 local organizations and for various community functions. Its financial support and volunteer efforts include a wide range of causes such as youth activities and education, assistance for veterans and disabled veterans, the care of individuals with special needs, and foster care, among others.
According to Valone, the donation to PCCF’s Ruth DARE Fund “was the result of the local lodge reaching a per member charitable giving goal” and being awarded a ‘Gratitude Grant’ from the Elks National Foundation.
“The grants are designated to be used to support local charitable activities,” Valone said.
The Pickaway County Community Foundation (PCCF) was established in 2001 and provides a vehicle for businesses, organizations, families and individuals to establish local community funds and scholarships or to provide support for a number of charitable funds and organizations central to Pickaway County.
The Foundation awards grants, partners with other nonprofit organizations and agencies, and plays an important leadership role in promoting and supporting programs and initiatives that provide opportunities, services, education, art and cultural enhancements, recreational facilities, and sponsored care for residents of the county.
PCCF is a nonprofit public charity, and information about how to direct a gift or establish a special fund can be obtained on its website at www.yourpccf.org or by contacting a representative at 740-477-6207. Pickaway County residents and friends are invited to follow PCCF on Facebook.
This article originally appeared on The Pickaway News Journal