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DenverRAP and GRID’s Safe Summer Kickoff Event

January 20, 2012 | by Vanessa M. Fenley of the Denver Office of Drug Strategy

DenverRAP and GRID’s Safe Summer Kickoff Event

Denver Resource for Awareness and Prevention (DenverRAP), along with the Gang Reduction Initiative of Denver (GRID), co-hosted an annual Safe Summer Kickoff event in southwest Denver in May, 2011. The event was held at a local middle school and offered local families food, entertainment, activities and a resource fair. More than 30 organizations participated in the resource fair, giving families the opportunity to learn about substance abuse resources available to them in their community, including drug and alcohol prevention information. The event included a wide variety of activities and entertainment, with most performers recruited from the southwest Denver community. The local city councilman attended, as did several Mayoral candidates.

Planning for an event with such a high amount of community buy-in and support began almost a year in advance, with organizers identifying and networking with other relevant neighborhood organizations with similar goals of promoting prevention and healthy living throughout southwest Denver. Several months before the event, DenverRAP and GRID recruited and organized 12 partner agencies to participate in the planning and implementation, and also engaged many more organizations as sponsors.

Although it was a rainy day, a surprising 650 people attended the outdoor Safe Summer Kickoff. The southwest Denver area is increasingly diverse in the cultures, languages, and ages of its residents. This event provided an opportunity to transcend these various potential barriers to building a community among residents of southwest Denver.

For more information on DenverRAP, contact:
Vanessa Fenley, Director      Jodi Lockhart, Project Coordinator
Denver Office of Drug Strategy      Denver Resource for Awareness and Prevention (DenverRAP)
Denver Department of Human Services     Denver Department of Human Services
1200 Federal Blvd., Denver, CO 80204     1200 Federal Blvd., Denver, CO  80204
Vanessa.fenley@denvergov.org      Jodi.lockhart@denvergov.org

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