Archive for the ‘News’ Category

Save A Life 2015 Promoted at YHS

Wednesday, January 21st, 2015

TIMG_3827oday, representatives and volunteers from ASK spent the day in the Yorktown High School cafeteria promoting Save A Life. Students were able to stop by the ASK table and view photos from previous events, speak with volunteers, and get detailed information regarding what to expect at Save A Life. Several photos taken of students were posted on the ASK Instagram account using the hashtag #SaveALife2015, which students began posting from their personal accounts. Even YHS Principal Joseph DeGennaro took a photo with us to show his support for Save A Life. Yorktown students are getting excited for February 8th.









Save the Date: Save a Life Forum at Yorktown Stage Feb. 8

Wednesday, January 21st, 2015

Yorktown Patch

The Alliance for Safe Kids, Inc. is hosting the fifth annual Save A Life Forum on Sunday, February, 8 from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. at the Yorktown Stage and the Yorktown Community Cultural Center located at 1974 Commerce Street, Yorktown, NY 10598.

Save A Life is a program designed to inform and empower high school students and adults to be community allies and first responders to support teens and families in crisis.

This year Save A Life Forum features:

  • Screening of local documentary Whispering Spirits which tells the story of Justin Veatch, a talented musician who tragically died of a drug overdose at the age of seventeen. The film follows Jeffrey, Justin’s father, as his family grapples with their devastating loss while reconnecting with him through the music he left behind. The film will be followed by comments from Yorktown resident, Jeffrey Veatch.
  • Interactive Workshops for high school students: Safe Dating Role Play, House Party Raids, Refusal Skills, Youth Mental Health, Alcohol Poisoning and Drug Abuse
  • Interactive Workshops for adults: Youth Mental Health and Choices, a local documentary on substance abuse
  • Interactive Informational Exhibits showcasing dozens of local organizations and resources including the Westchester County Driving Simulator and Crashed Car
  • All Save A Life participants will be rewarded with the annual Taste of Yorktown experience: a room filled with signature dishes from 12 local restaurants and the opportunity to vote for their favorite.

Due to the generous support of the Yorktown Community this event will be FREE for all participants.

Limited Seating! High school students and adults may register online now Participants will receive program certificates for their resumes/portfolios and community service hours.

By devoting just one Sunday afternoon – a single afternoon of your life – you can take the first steps toward saving a friend.

Whispering Spirits Documentary to be Shown at Save A Life 2015

Friday, January 16th, 2015

Whispering Spirits, a film recently released at Jacob Burns Film Center, tells the story of Justin Veatch- a Yorktown teen who died of a drug overdose at the age of seventeen just as he was beginning his senior year at Yorktown High School. Justin was an incredibly gifted musician whose spirit lives on through his original music, which continues to touch lives in our community and beyond. The film takes viewers on the journey of Jeffrey, Justin’s father, and the Veatch family as they remain connected to Justin through the brilliance and inspiration of his music.

Catch a preview of the moving documentary that can be viewed in full at ASK’s Save A Life event on February 8th.

The Justin Veatch Fund is a non-profit organization that “recognizes the teaching of music and art as a critical component of a child’s education. The mission of The Fund is to support emerging, college-bound artists with opportunities to discover new skills and to refine existing talent.” The fund is dedicated to providing educated young artists with scholarships that will ultimately help finance promising careers where there passion lies: in music.

Learn more about The Justin Veatch Fund  by coming out to Save A Life 2015!

Hope’s Door at Save A Life 2015

Friday, January 16th, 2015

ASK’s annual Save A Life event is designed to inform and empower high school students and adults to be community allies and first responders to support teens and families in crisis. In order to achieve this, several workshops will be directed by professionals from several organizations that specialize in prominent safety issues faced by teens each day. Hope’s Door is one of the many inspiring groups that will be presenting at Save A Life.

This incredible alliance “seeks to end domestic violence and to empower victims to achieve safety, independence, and healing from the trauma of abuse.” Hope’s Door formed in 1979 after discovering the need for protection of domestic abuse victims. Over the course of the next ten years, 16 bed-residencies were purchased by the organization and proceeded to shelter survivors and their children.

Hope’s Door eventually began to focus on the pervasive issue of Teen Dating Abuse. At our Save A Life event, Hope’s Door will be sharing their professional knowledge and extensive resources regarding this issue, leaving our youth empowered to recognize signs of unhealthy relationships so proper safety measures can be taken. Facilitators will lead “The Dating Game” where participants will role play and become educated on distinguishing healthy versus unhealthy love.


ASK Featured on “Grace Notes” Talk Show

Thursday, January 15th, 2015

Ygracenotes3orktown Town Supervisor Michael Grace and moderator Bruce Apar sat down with ASK volunteers this evening on their talk show, “Grace Notes.” Volunteers Jenna Gammer, YHS Senior and class of 2015 President, and Anna Carbone, YHS alumnus and Junior atMarist College, spoke with Supervisor Grace and Mr. Apar extensively about ASK’s upcoming Save A Life event.

Mr. Apar guided the conversation by inquiring about why the girls feel so passionately about ASK. Jenna and Anna both discussed how they have been able to experience first hand the positive impact of the work done by ASK, and how truly inspiring and influential events such as Save A Life are. Both Jenna and Anna noted how impressively unified the youth of Yorktown are, as students support one another in their endeavors to promote a safe community.

ASK President, Tricy Cushner joined the conversation to provide detailed insight of the day’s events and the powerful impact Save A Life is sure to have on the community.

Be sure to tune in and watch the entire show! It will be aired Thursday, January 15th at 7:00 p.m. on the Yorktown Government Channel (Fios: channel 33, Optimum: channel 20).




ASK Responds to Arrests of Suspected Heroin Dealers in Northern Westchester

Wednesday, January 14th, 2015


Today, 23  suspects from all across Westchester country were arrested and charged on accounts of dealing Heroin. The arrests were a result of a year-long investigation, and about $1 million worth of drugs have been discovered and confiscated.

Channel 2 (CBS) news came to the ASK office this afternoon to find out what our thoughts were, as a Drug Free Coalition, on today’s events. Tricy Cushner, President of the Board at Alliance for Safe Kids, Inc., expressed how happy the alliance was to hear good news like this and fortified the thought that communities have to work together to sucessfully keep our children, friends and neighbors safe.

“These arrests send a clear message that community coalitions, local police and drug task forces are all working together toward the same goal of reducing substance abuse and saving lives.” -Tricy Cushner, ASK President


125 Arrested As Part Of Yearlong Westchester Heroin Sweep

Tuesday, January 13th, 2015


Authorities in Westchester County launched a series of raids Tuesday as part of a yearlong campaign targeting heroin distributors.

Twenty of the suspects were arrested in coordinated, daybreak raids, CBS2’s Lou Young reported. Overall, the operation has netted 125 suspects.

Tuesday’s raids targeted suspects in Yorktown, Cortlandt and Peekskill who allegedly fed a network of heroin users in quiet towns such as Bedford, Mount Kisco, Croton-on-Hudson and Ossining.

A task force involving local police, county police and the FBI was formed in early 2014 after a surge in heroin use and 85 overdose deaths in Westchester in 2012 and 2013.

“Illegal, damaging drugs such as heroin, crack and cocaine continue to be scourges of many communities north of New York City,” said Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara. “We and our federal and local law enforcement partners are determined to prevent drug organizations from taking root in our communities, as evidenced by today’s charges and arrests.”

Heroin had gotten so cheap, potent and plentiful that many people were experimenting with it and getting caught in its web.

“I was one of those parents who thought it couldn’t happen to us,” said Jeffrey Veatch, whose son, Justin, died of a heroin overdose in 2008, his senior year at Yorktown High School.

“It’s a tragedy where families are destroyed,” Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino said. “Children, their lives are ruined.

“This is not an episode of ‘Breaking Bad.’ Nobody’s rooting for the bad guys,” Astorino added.

The raids are blessed relief to Tricy Cushner, an anti-drug educator with the Alliance for Safe Kids.

“This is the kind of news we hope to open the newspaper to,” Cushner said.

Police say some of the heroin seized in the arrests was the same heroin that killed two people recently in Buchanan and Montrose.

“To know that the person who is responsible … finally may be facing some kind of justice, it’s rewarding,” said Buchanan Police Chief Brian Tubbs.

“Reminds us that heroin is being sold on tree-lined streets,” Westchester Public Safety Commissioner George Longworth said. “It is being used and sold by young people who live in comfortable homes and circumstances. No community is immune from this problem.”

Officials said street-level dealers and their suppliers were targeted. Said one federal agent: “We’re into the supply line now.”

At least two of the suspects arrested Tuesday are named in sealed, federal indictments as kingpins, Young reported. They face the possibility of life in prison.

The good news is overdose deaths may be declining, with the pressure on the supply line and new revival treatments to help overdose victims.