Carnegie Boys & Girls Club presented strong message about drugs
District Judge Jack Kobistek had the roomful of youngsters at the Carnegie Boys & Girls Club riled up.
Drugs ruin people’s lives, and he had the proof.
“How many of you would steal $8,000 from your grandma?” he asked the kids, who displayed shocked and horrified faces. “Do you want to be that person? … How many people here would steal their mother’s wedding ring and sell it? That’s what drugs do to a family!”
Kobistek shared real-life stories that he’s seen in his courtroom as part of a drug awareness program and donation event put on by the Carnegie Elks for the kids at the Boys & Girls Club on Feb. 28.
“If we can get the kids thinking properly at the age they are now, hopefully they’ll turn out, and we won’t have any problems down the road,” said Al Montuoro, exalted ruler with the club.
The Elks have put on this program for several years. It included the presentation by Kobistek, who is an Elk, and Carnegie police Officer Cory Peterson, who knelt and let the kids hold his badge.
The Elks also distributed 100 backpacks to the children and sent home packets with drug awareness information for mom and dad. And they fed the kids pizza and cookies.
“It was interesting. We learned the message to not do drugs,” said Maurice Segnonou, 9, of Carnegie.
The program was made possible through a $1,500 anniversary grant the Carnegie Elks received from the Elks National Foundation.
“It’s just a great community partnership for us,” said Dominic Panucci, branch director at the Boys & Girls Club.
This is just one of several ways the two have partnered to improve the lives of children, he said.
This year alone, the 70-member Carnegie Elks Lodge has received $10,500 in grants from the Elks National Fund that has allowed the group to give back in various ways to the community, Montuoro said.
A $2,000 Beacon Grant allowed them to give funds to The Bradley Center for a program with the Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium and Carnegie Science Center. The gratitude grant allowed them to give $625 each to the local American Legion for a program to help wheelchair-bound people, the Andrew Carnegie Free Library & Music Hall, Meals on Wheels Southwest and The Bradley Center.
A $2,000 freedom grant allowed them to have a dinner and provide socks and gloves for homeless veterans.
A $2,500 promise grant allowed them to help the Boys & Girls Club start a LEGO league team.