The Greyhound Foundation continues to evolve to meet new needs
Approaching its 25th year in service to the community, the Atascadero Greyhound Foundation is far from entering the final stretch of a marathon — on the contrary, it might be said that the foundation is just getting started.
In 1994, a group formed with a purpose to build the Atascadero High School all-weather track and is undergoing a transformation as a major force in the battle against addiction facing our youth.
The LIGHTHOUSE committee was formed in 2012 to fund addiction counseling for high school students, and the mission has become central to the AGF over the six years.
Local golfers can get in on the action during the fourth annual LIGHTHOUSE Benefit Golf Tournament at Chalk Mountain Golf Course on Saturday, Oct. 13. Local businesses and individuals can sponsor the tournament, including $100 hole sponsorships.
As school resumes, so does the second year of LIGHTHOUSE Atascadero Mentorship Program, with LAMP director Julie Davis leading another group of high school upperclassmen as mentors to Atascadero Middle School sixth-graders.
The program was a big success in the first year, with students forming the bonds that could last a lifetime with a focus on living life without the use of drugs and alcohol.
Another high school resource available to those in need of individual or group support is the Wellness Center, with services coordinated by Kamela Proulx (MA, LMFT, BCBA). The center provides drop-in access during breaks and lunch, or by appointment during study halls or electives. The center even offers family sessions after school.
The Wellness Center focuses on substance use prevention and education, social skill development, and mindfulness and stress reduction. The second area of focus is stigma reduction and awareness campaigns regarding behavioral and mental health issues related to young people, as well as bullying, suicide prevention, wellness promotion and education about the adolescent brain.
But what do the kids do after school? The AGF helped launch the LIGHTHOUSE After School program, run by Coleen Madsen, the Atascadero Unified School District Director of Curriculum.
According to AGF executive director Donn Clickard, the goal of the after school program is to give kids a “constructive use of leisure time,” and make a habit force that can bring rewards throughout their lives.
Continuing support, and expanding its efforts to provide resources in the battle against addiction, the foundation created LASER — LIGHTHOUSE Atascadero Support, Education, and Resources — to provide information and resources, including books, articles, publications and a series of podcasts designed to help individuals and families in the area of drug and alcohol addiction.
Atascadero Chamber of Commerce provided the foundation with a space for storing books and other resources for the LASER program.
LIGHTHOUSE, LAMP, Wellness Center, LIGHTHOUSE After School, and LASER are a strong foundation for growth as the foundation takes on the next phase of its lifecycle and continue addressing addiction-related issues facing our community youth.