Elks host school speaker as part of drug awareness program


When Mark Eaton recently stepped down after two terms as exalted ruler for the Tri-City Elks, that didn’t mean he was walking away from the lodge he helped rebuild.

Eaton, who led Lodge 14 from financial troubles into stability, is expanding his horizons in Elkdom.

The decorated Vietnam veteran is a 5-Year Trustee at Lodge 14 as well as working on various statewide Elks projects. He chairs the Rhode Island Elks Association Drug Awareness Program.

“Our [Warwick-based] lodge is in good shape and in good hands with our new officers,” Eaton said earlier this week. “I’m still working there and I always will. However, this is an important role and a program that’s really, really needed everywhere.”

The Elks Association Drug Awareness Program has enlisted Ray Lozano, a nationally-acclaimed speaker and CEO of Prevention Plus, to visit Rhode Island this week and deliver his powerful message to high school and middle school students at five locations throughout the state.

“We as Elks are very much aware of the ongoing alcohol and marijuana abuses with our youth,” Eaton said. “The prom and summer seasons are almost here, and we want to impress upon our youth the dangers and consequences of making the wrong decisions about these abuses. He is, in short, a substance prevention specialist speaker.”

Eaton, who will welcome Lozano at each of the five locations he’ll visit during his mini-speaking tour, continued, “We also know that wrong decisions about drugs and alcohol and cost lives and how it can effect our youth for the rest of their lives.”

Lozano, Eaton said, “has been invited here because he’s known throughout the country and one of the most captivating and motivational speakers concerning alcohol and marijuana in the country.”

His presentations are intended to have direct impact that drugs can have on the body and are aimed specifically at middle and high school students who are in the at-risk ages and need to learn the negative and dark side of drugs.

“We as Elks are hoping that Mr. Lozano’s lively interaction with the students will have a positive impact and the students will remember the discussion so they make the right decisions when it comes to alcohol and marijuana.”

Lozano will visit schools in Warwick, Providence, Warren, Bristol and North Providence beginning yesterday and continuing through Thursday. Each speaking program runs between 60 and 90 minutes. Lozano engages students in the discussion regarding the pitfalls of drug and alcohol abuse.

Lozano will hold two of his seven presentations in Warwick on Thursday, April 30. His first scheduled session will be at Aldrich Junior High from 8 to 9 a.m. for seventh and eighth graders. Lozano’s second session is scheduled for Pilgrim High School for ninth graders and will run from 9:20 to 10:30 a.m.


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