The Arnold Agency has recently wrapped up a busy events season with three Regional Raze Kick-Off Events for the West Virginia Division of Tobacco Prevention. Working with the American Lung Association and our friends at the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources, we successfully planned and held three events in Morgantown, Parkersburg and Beckley.
Each event was attended by hundreds of West Virginia teens who gathered to learn about tobacco prevention advocacy. In total, almost 800 teens turned out to show their support for Raze and to gain valuable skills they can use in their schools and communities.
During each event, teens engaged in team-building activities and participated in sessions to strengthen their knowledge about and ability to fight back against the tobacco industry. The Kick-Off events also included special guest speaker Patrick Murtagh, who spoke to the teens about a number of important topics related to tobacco prevention, including tobacco issues on a global scale and how they are related to the theme of social justice.
Murtagh has worked in tobacco control since he became a founding member of the New York-based tobacco prevention program “Reality Check.” He has worked with the American Legacy Foundation as a speaker and with youth tobacco prevention programs in Maine, Montana, Washington, D.C., Virginia, California, Minnesota, Finland and the United Kingdom.
The teens also received helpful information and training on using Raze’s new social media endeavors and the latest campaign, entitled “Raze for Real.” Teens were encouraged to post updates, photos and videos to their Facebook and Twitter pages during the event – giving real-time updates to their families and friends.
Raze teens and their Adult Advisors were also given “Commotion Kits,” which consisted of three brand-new activities that teens can conduct in their schools and communities to raise awareness and spread the Raze message. Each of the Commotions corresponds with a different “tobacco holiday.” They are entitled:
In addition, teens were given the chance to vote for new members of the Teen Advisory Council (TAC). TAC consists of teens who are helping to lead the Raze movement in their schools and communities. Each month, TAC members meet to plan, organize and implement trainings and Commotions. With many current members of TAC preparing to graduate high school this spring, these Regional Raze Kick-Off Events enabled teens to elect the next peer leaders of Raze.
For months, The Arnold Agency team has worked tirelessly to organize the event – from coordinating venues to countless hours preparing and stuffing hundreds of Commotion Kits. A big thank you to the whole team that dedicated their time, creativity and energy to helping make these events the most successful yet!