To the Editor:
The Every 15 Minutes Program that was held at North Union was a two year work in progress. The event was originally scheduled for last spring but due to a late storm it was cancelled. The committee came together again to pick up and prepare a program aimed at saving lives and helping youth make good choices. Although the Estherville News gave me credit for heading up the program (in their very well written article) I did not. I feel it is important to recognize those individuals who do so much to make sure these programs exist for our local young people.
I helped get the ball rolling but Amber Henderson, School Nurse for North Union was the organizer for the event. She organized meetings and kept many dedicated volunteers on track to make this happen. She worked with the parents of the kids involved and kept them informed and answered questions about the program.
The Certified Coordinator for the event was Sheryl Darling who is an EMT from Palo Alto County. Sheryl gives so much of her time to Every 15 Minute programs in our area including the Emmetsburg, Graettinger, Estherville and now North Union schools. She attends many meetings and works closely with everyone to make this program work and keep our kids safe!
Hope Haven from Emmetsburg provides these programs with counselors/therapists that are absolutely essential in making this work. The event is traumatic and requires professionals with the expertise to deal with the emotions that come out as a result. Michelle Theesfeld has worked tirelessly with each of the programs that I mentioned before, along with Kari Anderson and Melissa Graves and numerous other interns and volunteers.
Travis Rosinger once again showed up and spoke with the kids about his personal experiences, emphasizing to them that they each have value.
Our local hospital staff, schools, law enforcement (Emmet and Kossuth), fire departments, ambulance crew, funeral directors, attorneys, clergy and last but not least school administration all deserve a big thank you for bringing this program to our county. In a way I support this program for selfish reasons. Once our office is involved in these types of situations it is too late, one poor choice and lives are changed forever. The people who volunteer to put on these programs witness the aftermath and also are affected by the actions of others. Prevention is so very important and I am grateful to all those who step up and help to make a difference. Thank you.
Victim Witness Coordinator
Emmet County Attorney's Office