Pubdate: Wed, 01 Mar 2006
Source: Hudson/St. Lazare Gazette (CN QU)
Copyright: 2006 Lake of Two Mountains Gazette Ltd.
Author: Lucie Trembla
Bookmark: (Youth)


A few weeks ago, our community suffered an immeasurable tragedy when 
a 13-year-old girl from Rigaud died from a drug overdose. The loss 
touched the hearts of many families and friends in the surrounding 
communities, but it also opened many people's eyes to the realities 
of what can happen to our children, even in a small community. 
Dealing with the reality of what has happened is hard enough for 
those who live our communities. But hearing in the newspapers and on 
the radio comments on how small communities are more susceptible to 
these types of problems because of lack of things to do and ways to 
get around is even harder to accept.

Having been in this community now for close to 19 years, one of the 
qualities I most admired was the fact that parents had to be involved 
in their kids' lives due to the fact that it was not easy to get from 
one place to the other. This is seen on a daily basis if you go to a 
soccer game or a football game and see the number of parents out 
there supporting their children. As my kids went to high school, I 
was proud to see how many students in our community made the honour 
roll and achieved academic recognition. As a volunteer in one of the 
sports organizations, I have seen the growth in activities that we 
have to offer the children in our community. This type of problem can 
happen in any community, big or small.

As we reflect on why our children get into trouble, we have to wonder 
who is to blame. Is it the towns for not offering more activities for 
our children? I say no. Both Hudson and St-Lazare both work hard to 
support local activities and if there is more they can do they are 
always open to listening.

Could this tragedy have been avoided? Definitely. But it happened and 
we need to ensure that we do whatever is possible to avoid it from 
happening again. The best way for us to ensure our kids stay out of 
trouble is to keep them off the streets. One good way to achieve this 
is by encouraging them to participate in safe activities where 
parents and adults act as role models on a regular basis.

As the President of the Hudson/St. Lazare Soccer Club for my third 
year now, I see a decline in the number of volunteers who are willing 
to step up and help run these extra activities for our children. It 
is important for all of you to remember that volunteers run most of 
these organizations. Without them we would not be able to continue.

As a community, let's ensure something good comes from this tragedy. 
I appeal to all individuals who are parents, older brothers or 
sisters in the community to get involved with one of the local clubs. 
If it's not soccer, why not choose something else; there is a lot in 
our community to choose from. Your involvement will not only play an 
important role in your children's lives, but also in the lives of 
other kids in this area.

Destiny is not a matter of chance; it is a matter of choice.

It is not a thing to be waited for; it is a thing to be achieved.

It is our destiny as a community to make a safe place for our 
children. As parents it is our job to ensure our children make the 
right choices. If you would like to be a volunteer in the Hudson/St. 
Lazare Soccer Club, please give us a call at 514-247-8586 or send an 
e-mail to Lucie Tremblay
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MAP posted-by: Beth Wehrman