EPD to bring national speaker to E'town schools

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D.A.R.E. Safety Buddy Retro Bill to talk to students about drugs, alcohol

By Sarah Bennett

Through the use of regulatory alcohol fees, Elizabethtown Police Department has booked a national anti-drug and alcohol speaker to address students later this month at nine schools in the city limits.

From Oct. 22 to 24, motivational speaker and D.A.R.E. Safety Buddy Retro Bill will be in Elizabethtown to deliver presentations to students and parents.

EPD spokesman Virgil Willoughby said the department organized the effort for Red Ribbon Week — a national anti-drug and alcohol movement that began in the 1980s following the torture and slaying of a Drug Enforcement Administration agent undercover in Mexico.

Willoughby, who has seen several Retro Bill presentations, said the speaker can tailor his presentation for each audience and address any issues a school may be experiencing, such as bullying.

According to his website, topics Retro Bill can address include appropriate school behavior, listening to parents and teachers, teasing and gossiping, and the dangers of tobacco, drugs and alcohol.

As for the parent presentation at 6:30 p.m. Oct. 23 at T.K. Stone Middle School, Willoughby said Retro Bill will focus on communication and motivating parents to be involved in their children’s lives.

“He can relate with just about any group,” he said.

According to Willoughby, the police department presented the idea to former Mayor Tim Walker and the city immediately approved it.

Elizabethtown Finance Director Steve Park said the city paid $8,585 to bring Retro Bill to speak with the money coming from a regulatory fee levied against beer and liquor sales.

By state law, fourth-class cities may set a 5-percent regulatory fee of gross alcohol sales that may go toward law enforcement and education.

Willoughby said the price tag to bring Retro Bill to Elizabethtown is “money well spent by our city.”

In addition to speaking in schools, Retro Bill also has made a career speaking to law enforcement agencies. Willoughby said he once saw him speak at an international D.A.R.E. conference.

“It’s one of those things that will fire you up and remind you why you do what you do,” Willoughby said.

Sarah Bennett can be reached at 270-505-1750 or sbennett@thenewsenterprise.com.


Tuesday, Oct. 22

  • Central Hardin High School 9-10 a.m.
  • T.K. Stone Middle School 10:15-11:15 a.m.
  • Elizabethtown High School 1:15-2:15 p.m.

Wednesday, Oct. 23

  • G.C. Burkhead Elementary School 8:30-9:15 a.m.
  • St. James Catholic Regional School 9:30-10:30 a.m.
  • Heartland Elementary School 1-1:45 p.m.
  • T.K. Stone Middle School (parent program) 6:30 p.m.

Thursday, Oct. 24

  • Morningside Elementary School 7:55-8:40 a.m.
  • Elizabethtown Christian Academy 9-10 a.m.
  • Helmwood Heights Elementary School 1-1:45 p.m.