SPRING VALLEY, Ohio, Sept. 23, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Leadership To Keep Children Alcohol Free Foundation met in Washington, D.C., Sept 18-19, 2011 to discuss ways to change the conversation on childhood drinking and promote child wellbeing.
First Lady Sally Ganem of Nebraska was awarded the Theresa Racicot Leadership Award for her outstanding efforts in Nebraska. Leadership Foundation Chair, Karen Baldacci, presented her with the award because of Ganem's work to create several videos that are widely used in Nebraska, and available to other states, which serve as discussion openers. She was also honored for her visits to countless communities to talk on the importance of dealing with childhood drinking. The award is named for Theresa Racicot, first lady emeritus of Montana for her efforts to turn the Leadership Initiative into the Leadership Foundation in 2006-2007.
Karen Baldacci, first lady emeritus of Maine received the Hope Award, given to deserving emeritus spouses who have shown exceptional leadership after leaving the Governor's Residence. Karen has led current recruiting efforts, and stayed on as chair of the Leadership Foundation beyond the normal term. She also has represented the Leadership Foundation at national conferences. This award was named for Hope Taft, first lady emeritus of Ohio and current president of the Foundation, and was presented to Mrs. Baldacci by Patricia Kempthorne, first chair of the Leadership Foundation and emeritus spouse of Idaho.
The Leadership Foundation Board, composed of current and emeritus governors' spouses and other interested persons, met with Kathryn Palmer, Director of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration's Center of Mental Health Services and served as an expert panel regarding their desire to initiate a national dialogue on mental health and substance abuse issues.
The Leadership To Keep Children Alcohol Free Foundation grew out of an Initiative for Governor's Spouses and focuses on preventing children ages 9-15 from starting to drink alcohol. Started in 2000, it is the largest non-profit, non-partisan association of current and emeritus governors' spouses focused on a single issue. It produces materials to change the community dialogue on childhood drinking; materials are available for free on its website: www.alcoholfreechildren.org .
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Hope Taft, President/CEO
SOURCE The Leadership To Keep Children Alcohol Free Foundation