December 2, 2014- As I prepared for our very first Community Prevention Seminar yesterday afternoon, I began to ask myself many questions. I wondered who would come to the seminar, what questions they may ask, and what their motivation was for taking this opportunity to educate themselves about this issue. I will admit, I was quite nervous that no one would show up, that they would remain quiet during discussion, and hoped that our first seminar would be a success. What actually occurred exceeded all of my expectations.
Adults from across Leelanau County came to join us and had a lot of insight as to why it is so important to protect our kids. It is so meaningful to us that so many people in our area are coming forward and are willing to join this movement and we are thrilled to begin this journey together. The Leelanau County Government Center (pictured above) was willing to host us in their beautiful Community Meeting Room, which made for a very inviting space in which to come together and have a sincere dialogue about this issue.
As we wrapped up our session and I began putting things away, every attendee asked if they could assist me in any way and, despite my objections, proceeded to clean up, stack chairs, move tables, and help me carry all of my belongings out to my car so I did not have to be out in the parking lot alone. “After all,” one participant stated, “if we are supposed to be keeping our kids safe, shouldn’t we be keeping each other safe, too?” If this is not a true testament to the caring and compassion that exists in our region, I’m not sure what is.
I left this seminar inspired and energized, realizing that our community is ready to take this leap toward creating an environment where children are safe and nurtured so they may go on to live happy and productive lives. Many thanks again to Leelanau County for getting us off to a great start and we are looking forward to the seminars we have planned for other communities in the region!