Right Path still helping, growing

The Right Path continues to grow and thrive thanks to continued community support. When we began in 2003 with our mission to promote healthy youth development, we were funded by a three year State Incentive Grant through ODADAS, Ohio Department of Alcohol/Drug Addiction Services. This allowed us an opportunity to look at how prevention services were delivered in our county and how our resources could be utilized to better foster relationships with youth and adults in our community.

Thanks to our board of directors and Washington County Behavioral Health Board our core group continues to look for opportunities to engage youth in community service projects and work with other youth serving organizations and non-profits in collaborative efforts that help strengthen our commitment to youth.

As with all non-profits, fundraising is necessary so we can continue to offer alternatives to drug/alcohol use/abuse. Media messages that promote upcoming events and youth messages that talk about issues our kids face in their everyday lives help connect them to our community. We also have a comprehensive insurance policy that is necessary for all the different projects we are involved with. Since The Right Path is housed in the offices of Washington County Behavioral Health Board we rely on our many community partners to provide the venue that our programs and events can thrive in. These include, but are not limited to, Marietta College Gathering Place, YMCA, our schools, Marietta Aquatic Center and any place we can host a dance, swim party or Block Party.

We are grateful to John Walsh, Dr. Roger Anderson and The Anchor for asking The Right Path to be a recipient of their Winter Serenade, held Feb. 17 in the Marietta High School auditorium. We were excited by the prospect of working with the O’Neill Center, ReSTORE Marietta and the Colony Theatre to bring this concert to our community. Very talented musicians provided an afternoon of entertainment and included John A. Walsh’s “Fields of Gettysburg” to an enthralled crowd on a very cold Sunday afternoon.

On March 17, Spagna’s hosted our first annual spaghetti dinner. The food was amazing, thanks to Kevin Whitby’s secret family sauce, and the staff and management were outstanding. Thanks to The Right Path board members, and spaghetti dinner chair, Dee Standish, the event was a success. We have been fortunate to retain many original board members and their commitment to our youth is evident.

In May, we will host our fourth annual fish fry at the Veterans of Foreign Wars, Pike Street, Marietta. Our signature event is all about the fish and it is tasty! Veteran fryer Ron Davis and Lion’s Club official French fry fryer, Bill Standish make sure that you get plenty for $10. Judge Tim Williams is our chair and our dedicated board will be breading fish, serving and waiting tables, so you won’t want to miss this event that showcasing good food, entertainment and silent auction.

We will be hosting our ninth summer of safe teen events beginning in June and we need chaperones, so if you have some free time please join the Right Path as we continue to promote healthy youth development. Find out more about The Right Path for Washington County on Facebook and Twitter.

Cathy Harper is coordinator of The Right Path, a United Way Agency.