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Sunday, July 31, 2011

Kansas State Juvenile Officers Association Conference, July 19 - 22, 2011

The Kansas State Juvenile Officers Association Conference was held in Wichita, KS on July 19th through 22, 2011.  This is our 2nd time at this conference.  Special thanks to Officer Kurt Spivey for inviting us back.  Ed4Ed's  booth was manned by Carrie Draher and Ken Tork, who, though not previously scheduled to speak, was also invited to speak to the conference.

Last week Ken and I had our first chance to present the program together, here in Kansas at a regional law enforcement conference.  The reception to the program was in a word, overwhelming.  It was not a large group.  Ken and I did not know what to expect.  It was attended by 100 officers from all overEd for Ed table

Kansas.  I distributed 150 DVDs…100+ stop-the-choking-game bracelets and over 200 brochures.  I have exhausted my supply of bracelets – all the ones many of you have sent me, are being worn across our state – all my DVDs, and all my printed materials too.  I presented an earlier version of the work, two years ago.  The difference between the response then and now, is telling me the program is developing in the right direction.   

I continue to work on filling requests for DVD/CD program files.  I ran out, and could not keep up with the burns while I was there, so I put out a list.  New requests are coming in via e-mail too.  A very large request for DVD/CD program files (from the conference) for our regional school nurses association conference (at the end of next month!) was among those generated at this conference. 

The out-go of mateKen and Conference Key Note Speaker Lieutenant  Joe Schillacirials at this conference exceed the number in attendance.  Some took more than one – to pass along to their departments.  Ken, Lyndi, Leslie and I could not be more pleased.

 One (of many) personal, heart-warming and gratifying, highlights of the 4 day conference was a private discussion I had with a detective from the sheriff’s department from one of our counties.  He spoke to me of 4 cases in his county of suicide he was going to re-open!  After watching our educational DVD, and reading our materials he feels strongly that the causes of death in each case was incorrect.  (I have only 9 reported cases here in Kansas.  If these are among those that I know about – that is almost half of the incidents that could be reversed, and if not reversed by their medical examiner, at least those families will have some peace of mind, knowing their loved one did not commit suicide!  IKen and Carrie was moved to tears!)

Another shining moment:  We were not scheduled to speak in the main hall,  however, their key-note speaker, Lieutenant Joeseph Schillaci, (a professional motivational speaker, having met and spoken with Ken was very moved by our stories.  He was moved by the work we at Ed4Ed and our colleagues spanning the globe with the DB foundation, GASP, APEAS – to name just a few, (there are so many foundations and it is going to take all of us). 

 In the program materials we strive to keep a current list of these groups as resources in our source index.  He was impressed by all we (all of us – all groups, all individuals inclusive) are doing across the countries around the globe.  We stress how many individuals, in addition to those associated with organized groups are involved in this collective objective.     Ed for Ed table displays

I was summoned from our booth by our sponsor to come into the main assembly hall – their key note speaker opened his presentation by playing our DVD.  He then  introduced Ken and invited him to speak – and wow – Ken blew them away.  I have never seen so many adults, tough law enforcement men and women, so moved – many with heads bowed, tears streaming down their faces.  All of them stood up giving Ken a standing ovation.  Of course, I was on my feet, applauding (holding back hoots), with tears of joy, pride, gratitude and heart ache for his loss, for all the children lost leaving holes in your hearts and an ache in mine.  The way he touches a group, (and a group of really tough people to touch too) is amazing!


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Upcoming Events and News

Serving as Mentor/Consultant for HCC Community College Pediatrics Project
Carrie will meet with these young professionals as a mentor/consultant & provide resources and technical assistance for them building their requisite exit project, a presentation of the subject of "Choking Game" Education & Awareness for Injury Prevention

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This tournament was held on September, 21, 2013 in honor of Denise Bruckner-Gillentine and in memory of her son Austin.  

All donations will go to Ed4Ed - Education for Educators to promote Choking Game Awareness.