WILLIAMSBURG, KY — U.S. Rep. Harold “Hal” Rogers encouraged students to “Be a Hero” during the closing ceremonies of the 7th Annual Camp UNITE on Friday, July 26, 2013 on the campus of the University of the Cumberlands. Rogers was introduced by Rockcastle County High School graduate Hannah Eaton who has testified before Congress and spoken to national leaders about the urgency for better legislation and policies in the war on drugs.
“I’m incredibly proud of students like Hannah who have lost close family members to drug overdoses, but choose to turn tragedy into hope through education,” said Rogers. “Like this year’s camp motto, Hannah decided to “Be a Hero” for her community and classmates. She wanted to make a difference and she has.”
Hannah was one of 19 high school seniors in southern and eastern Kentucky who received one of Operation UNITE’s first scholarships through its new “I Am UNITE” scholarship fund created by private donations.
“I am so honored to have been given the opportunity to speak to important people like the U.S. Drug Czar, the director of the FDA and the CDC about the drug problem in my county and our region,” said Hannah Eaton, a camp counselor. “UNITE has changed my life, so I try to pay-it-forward here at Camp UNITE and be a positive influence for these kids.”
More than 220 students from 25 counties in southern and eastern Kentucky attended this year’s camp that focused on drug-free leadership and adventure. Campers experienced a variety of games and adventures during the 4-day, 3-night camp, including archery, golf, basketball, dance, drama, a talent show and a day at the Kentucky Splash Water Park in Williamsburg. Campers heard from motivational speakers and recovering drug addicts each day.
During the ceremony, Rogers presented Williamsburg Mayor Roddy Harrison with a “Difference Maker Award” for his efforts to continue drug-free education in southern Kentucky.
“Mayor Harrison and the City of Williamsburg has been a great host for Camp UNITE year after year. And Mayor Harrison is always on the front lines, finding ways to educate his community about drug abuse,” said Rogers.
To close out Camp UNITE, more than 200 campers decided to sign a pledge to live drug-free.
Rogers has served Kentucky’s 5th Congressional District since 1981. With a focus on economic development, job creation, fighting illegal drugs and preserving Appalachia’s natural treasures, he has a reputation for listening to his constituents and fighting for the region he represents. For more information, visit http://halrogers.house.gov/ or follow Rogers on Twitter or on Facebook.