A "Kick-off to Summer" community picnic will be held June 14, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m, at the Wetzel County 4-H grounds.
This event, sponsored by the Wetzel County Sheriff's Office and Wetzel County Coalition Against Drug Abuse, is for all students in Wetzel County, pre-school through eighth grade, along with their families.
"I wanted to do something to connect with the community, children specifically," said Wetzel County Sheriff's Department Chief Deputy Mike Koontz. He hopes to make the picnic a tradition if it is a success.
"Police officer are not bad. We're not the enemy. We're approachable," he said about one of the things he wants children to take away from the picnic experience.
Brandi Murray, Wetzel County Substance Abuse Prevention Program Coordinator, stated that Koontz and WCSO Deputy Randy Adams contacted her with the idea of the picnic.
She stated she then let the WCCADA vote on the idea. Everyone agreed that it would be a great idea, "especially since the coalition has been trying to do different events at least quarterly for the community, focusing the youth."
Murray added, "Research shows that these events support protective factors that help prevent the likelihood of substance abuse."
"The Wetzel County Coalition Against Drug Abuse is dedicated to do as much as we can to help prevent substance use and abuse in our community," Murray said. "We believe focusing on our youth is a great way to invest our resources."
Saturday's event will feature Safety Pup, inflatables, the WCSO K-9 unit, food, firetruck rides, New Martinsville Volunteer Fire Department "Jake" demonstration, ATV safety demonstrations, Air Evac demonstrations, Valley High School's Outdoor Club, door prizes, and the Wetzel County Hospital blood pressure clinic. Everything is free.