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Aramburu: Downers Grove Township supports Red Ribbon Week initiative

Downers Grove Township has an active role in the community providing prevention education and leadership opportunities for community youth and their families.

Currently, Downers Grove Township employs two Prevention Specialists that are funded by an Illinois Department of Human Services Substance Abuse Prevention Grant.

Their work emphasizes educational tools to help reduce the use and abuse of illegal substances and spread awareness of current trends concerning alcohol, tobacco and other drugs. 

Cathy Rager and Lauren Aramburu work closely with local schools to provide peer mediation, peer-to-peer life skills, community coalition work, Operation Snowball and Snowflake.

Operation Snowball is an alcohol and other drug use prevention program focusing on leadership development to empower youth to lead drug-free lives. Similarly, Snowflake is a day-long event for seventh-grade students who explore leadership and communication skills, healthy decision-making, substance abuse prevention and how to resist negative peer influences.  

Downers Grove Township is proud to assist in the sponsoring of this year’s Community High School District 99’s Red Ribbon speaker.

This year, Community High School District 99 along with other sponsors have invited Chris Herren, a former college and NBA basketball star who struggled with drug addiction and has been in recovery since 2008.  

You may be familiar with his story through the ESPN 30 for 30 documentary “Unguarded.”

He also has written a book entitled “Basketball Junkie”. Chris shares his compelling story of his rise to NBA stardom and his tragic defeat to addiction. Currently in recovery, Chris travels nationwide to promote substance abuse awareness and education. 

This free event, “Rebound: An Evening with Chris Herren,” will be Thursday from 7 to 9 p.m. in the Downers Grove North Campus Auditorium. We encourage people to take this opportunity to educate themselves on the dangers of alcohol, tobacco and other drugs and become more aware of the trends in our community. 

For more information about Township Prevention Programs.\, please contact Lauren Aramburu at

Lauren Aramburu is a Prevention Specialist with Downers Grove Township.

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