One decision can change many lives
A painful journey that began with the heartache of losing a young daughter to a drunk driver is now a powerful story that is transforming and saving lives. The Meagan Napier Foundation, formed through an uncommon alliance between a grieving mother and the convicted drunk driver, will be featured at Drug Free Collier’s 7th Annual Fundraising Luncheon on Thursday, March 5, 2015 at the Ritz Carlton Golf Resort.
Renee Napier and Eric Smallridge will share their compelling and personal stories to show how one decision and one moment in time can forever change many lives. Their fateful story of loss is also a unique story of forgiveness. While still grieving, Napier came to forgive Smallridge and even campaigned to have his sentence reduced. Teaming up to raise awareness about the dangers of driving under the influence, their story has been heard by millions in high schools, colleges, the military, churches, DUI offenders and also the NFL.
The Meagan Napier Foundation is one of several national presentations brought to our community by Drug Free Collier as part of ongoing efforts to protect local children from substance abuse.
“Our guests at this year’s luncheon will be touched by the heartfelt and moving testimonies of both presenters,” said Melanie Black, Executive Director of Drug Free Collier. “Their important message is relevant to people of all ages,” she added.
Hundreds of local supporters and distinguished guests are expected at this year’s event. “Our annual luncheon generates a surge in local interest and energy that is directed towards keeping our kids and our community drug free,” Black said. “As a nonprofit, we rely heavily on local support. It’s encouraging to see that so many people in Collier County are willing to make a difference in the lives of our young teens,” she added.
Drug Free Collier will also recognize Veora Little as this year’s honored guest. While serving as Volunteer Coordinator for Drug Free Collier’s Operation Medicine Cabinet® Program, Little has dedicated so much of her time to changing local habits regarding the safe use, storage and disposal of household medication. As a retired Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist, Little understands the benefits and risks associated with any medication. By spearheading Operation Medicine Cabinet, Little has helped to keep unwanted household medication from falling into the wrong hands or contaminating our environment.
Thanks to her, we now have 11 permanent drop boxes in Collier County and have safely disposed of thousands of pounds of harmful medication.
“We are extremely fortunate to have Veora leading such a dedicated group of volunteers who care about the wellbeing of the children in our
community. Our volunteers are the backbone of our organization and show us that we all have a role in prevention,” Black said.
Drug Free Collier’s Annual Fundraising Luncheon will also include special appearances by City of Naples Mayor John Sorey as celebrity auctioneer and Fox 4 News Anchor Patrick Nolan as Master of Ceremonies for the second consecutive year. Students from Drug Free Collier’s CORE Society will also be on hand. The CORE Society is a school-based student movement working to change perceptions about drugs and alcohol. With a growing number of students pledging to remain drug free, CORE students are Clean to the CORE and In Control!
As co-chairs of Drug Free Collier’s annual fundraiser for the third consecutive year, Mimi Scofield and Frank Nappo are working on their most successful campaign to date.
To learn more about Drug Free Collier, sponsor a table, or purchase individual tickets, please call Drug Free Collier at 239.377.0535 or visit
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