NEW CANAAN, Conn. -- For Joyce Sixsmith, licensed alcohol and drug counselor from Westport who works in New Canaan, the fact that her substance abuse prevention club was integrated into New Canaan High School’s curriculars five years ago, was thrilling. Known as The Ram Council Foundation, her organization is now a stand alone non-profit and has grown from 35 student members to 100.
“I wanted to create a group that at its core, had youth who committed to substance free living, but also incorporated a strong parent component, substance free activities, educational forums and community service," said Sixsmith, "We’re all about skill building.”
From public speaking and moderating meetings to fundraising and making presentations to potential partners, Ram Council Foundation members take on an array of tasks. Student members attend monthly dinner meetings and alternative activities to underage drinking parties such as pool parties, laser tag, bowling, beach nights and more. New Canaan parents participate by donating dinners to meetings, chaperoning weekend activities and by attending parent/member initiated forums.
The council has received strong support from the town of New Canaan; First Selectman Rob Mallozzi is a proponent of the Council’s mission and often attends events. New Canaan’s Health and Human Services provides the groups t-shirts, while the town’s Youth Services and the New Canaan Adult Youth Partnership Board sponsors of the organization’s cause and programming.
The Ram Council Foundation is gearing up for their “First Annual Gala: Dance Party” on Saturday, March 25th at the Country Club of New Canaan. Thanks to Bankwell of New Canaan, a key sponsor, members and non-members are invited to attend. Additionally, Bankwell has hosted planning meetings and will bring staffers to the gala, which honors First Selectman Mallozzi for his support of substance-free living.
“We’re appreciative that Bankwell continues to support our mission to guide New Canaan youth to remain substance free and make heathy decisions," said Sixsmith. Their support goes beyond a check; they endorse our informative events and committment to the youth in town.”
“For Bankwell, the decision to support such an important cause was a no-brainer," said Lucy French, marketing assistant at Bankwell. "Substance abuse is a very real problem, but people are able to be proactive and learn how to prevent it thanks to Joyce. They can stand up for themselves and their families.”
For more information about the Ram Council Foundation, the First Annual Gala, or regarding a donation, contact Joyce Sixsmith at firstname.lastname@example.org or click here.