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Project SMART

Our meeting started with an Invocation by Bob Carris, who asked the group to pray for his son-in-law who had a heart attack this week. (Twelve participants were in person, and 7 Zooming in online.) 

Happy Bucks by Tammy Bonifield. Rick Hart was welcomed to the meeting, the group was glad to see him in attendance. Bill Friske was particularly happy to announce he is training his nephew to take over his company for when he retires 


Bring a Friend effort, was highlighted by Mike Ladwig. This month the club is concentrating on building membership. Mike extended an invitation to everyone to bring a friend to a meeting. 

Adopt a Road Project was reported on by Greg Greene. Greg recapped a meeting he had with the core group on this project. They selected Five Mile Road between Farmington and Merriman as the road to sponsor. They felt the planning efforts to make location a “Town Center,” made this portion of the City’s road system meaningful. The Adopt a Road Group will order a sign from Wayne County and

organize a clean-up day

Special Guest: Robin Persiconi, a Livonia Rotarian, spoke about her campaign to run for 35th District Judge. She is a lifelong resident of Livonia, married, and has two daughters. She has a degree from U of M and a law degree from Wayne State University. She started a law firm 21 years ago. She pointed out that her experience in litigation made her well-suited for the judge position she is running for.

Project SMART, a multifaceted initiative of the Rotary Action Group for Addiction and Prevention. (RAG for AP) was introduced to the club by Steve Ahles, a member of the Southgate Rotary Club. The RAP for AP is a group of Rotarians whose goal is to mobilize Rotarians to offer worldwide leadership to tackle problems as drug abuse and addiction in all its forms. RAP for Ap operates under the policies of Rotary International but is not an agency of, or is not controlled by Rotary International.

The project mobilizes Rotary Clubs in the U.S. to address opioid overuse from prevention to treatment. This program is currently running worldwide with 45 countries currently involved. Steve was reporting on the North American chapters. 

After showing several articles about the program and the staggering number of deaths from opioid overdoses, he outlined what SMART stands for regarding the program’s actions. 

 1. School education and training. The “Drug Free America Program” is being introduced in schools. There has been an increase of 169% in teen deaths due to the use of fentanyl in the age groups of 14 – 18 years People are dying of overdoses, and they do not even know they are taking Fentanyl. Educating youth is patterned much like the former “Stop Smoking Campaigns.” 

 2. Medicine safe disposal, Examples of how to safely dispose of medicine using activated charcoal. Education efforts to the public focus on how our water supplies are being polluted by throwing medicines in the toilets, sinks, or landfills. Rotary is currently mailing out pill disposal bottles with activated charcoal and setting up disposal kiosks. 

 3. Awareness of Naloxone (common name Narcan or Kloxxado). To prevent overdose Rotarians have launched an active program to teach fellow Rotarians how to use Naloxone. This program is utilizing funds from lawsuit settlements against pharmaceutical companies. Currently Wayne County is llocating 100,000 dispensaries of Narcan.  

 4. Recovery Programs are being offered in partnership with other groups. 

 5. Treatment Programs use telemedicine outreach for easy access. 

In closing Steve asked that a “Project SMART Committee,” be 

established in our Rotary Club to join in the effort to curb the overuse 

of drugs. 

By Nancy Darga


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Rotary Club of Livonia AM

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Livonia, MI 48154

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