Speakers & Performers

Speakers & Performers

Speakers & Performers


1. !MPACT (Mourning Parents ACT, Inc)

Ms. Sherry Chapman, 860-742-8933

A panel of Connecticut parents who lost their children to driving crashes caused by unsafe driving and alcohol. Schools may want to have counselors available for this presentation. Ms. Chapman may be reached at ryansmom@mourningparentsact.com. Visit their site at www.mourningparentsact.org. (No fee)

2. Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD)

Ms. Janice Heggie Margolis, Director, 203-764-2566

Victims and offenders speak about drunk or drugged driving. Alternatively, groups can request a MADD multi-media presentation about drugs & alcohol. Visit their site at www.madd.org/ct. (Fees vary)

3. MADD & CT College of Emergency Physicians, Waterbury Hospital, CT

Ms. Lauren Iannucci, MADD CT Youth Coordinator, 203-764-2569 x 303

The Hard Truth program “takes a no-nonsense approach to the facts and tragic consequences of drinking and driving. The program contains a graphic power point presentation … [and] guest speakers including victims who have lost their loved ones or have been injured as a result of a DUI Crash, and offenders responsible for taking a life in an alcohol-related crash.” ($600 fee)

4. The Save A Life Tour, Michigan

A division of Kramer Edu-tainment, 1-888-655-7263

Rolling in on big-rigs, this company’s hi-tech simulators “are the only drinking and driving simulators in the nation that give participants a completely realistic, sober perspective on the effects of driving while intoxicated.”

Visit their site at www.savealifetour.com. ($1,000 fee)

East Hampton High School, May, 2010

“This event was fantastic. The kids were completely absorbed. They were so silent during the presentation you could have heard a pin drop!”

Cindi Coutu, Co-Chair, East Hampton Local Prevention Council


1. Jeffrey Wigand, PhD, Mt. Pleasant, MI

Dr. Jeffrey Wigand, 989-772-4063

This renowned whistle-blower stood up against the tobacco industries’’ falsification of documents proving the addictive danger of tobacco. (He was played by Russell Crowe in the film The Insider.) Dr. Wigand was presented with the Ethical Humanist Award in 1996. H has taught science to gifted highs school students, and now speaks to middle and high school audiences on “Moral and Ethical Decision Making,” “Smoking and Health issues,” and the “Youth Addiction Process.”

2. Middlesex Hospital, Middletown, CT

Ms. Beth Roberts, 860-358-3003

The Smoking Cessation Program of the Middlesex Hospital offers an anti-tobacco presentation, “The Winston Cigarette Man” for groups of middle and high school students.

3. Patrick Reynolds (TobaccoFree.Org)

Toll free at (800) 541-7741

Patrick Reynolds is a grandson of the tobacco company founder, R.J. Reynolds, but the family’s brands, Camel and Winston, killed his father and eldest brother. This nationally known smokefree advocate is a motivational speaker at schools, hospitals and colleges around the nation. He can be engaged for middle and high school audiences. Take a look at his web page at www.tobaccofree.org/patrick.html.

4. Saint Vincent Medical Center, Bridgeport, CT

Ms. Mary Ellen Bolcer, 203-576-5451

The “Teen Smoke Stoppers Program” provides interactive prevention and cessation classes in schools throughout Connecticut. Prevention classes are age-appropriate, demonstrating the dangers of smoking through such techniques as comparing a healthy preserved human lung to one diseased from smoking. Visit their site at www.swimacrossthesound.org., choose “About Swim” and click on “Teen Smoke Stoppers.” (No fee)


Problem Gambling Services – DMHAS, Middletown, CT

Ms. Susan McLaughlin, 860-344-2244

Educational speakers, including people in recovery from gambling addiction, are available to make compelling presentations to adults and youth. Call to inquire about speakers appropriate for high school audiences. (No fee)

Substance Abuse – Alcohol & Drugs

1. Project Courage, Centerbrook, CT

Mr. Andy Buccaro, MSW, LADC, 203-623-2291

An experienced prevention/addiction counselor, Andy presents “End the Debate: Pot is Addictive!” He explains the mechanisms of addiction at the emotional and neurobiological levels. Appropriate for teens and/or adults. Visit the group’s site at www.projectcourageworks.com.

2. Connecticut National Guard – Drug Demand Reduction Program

Mr. Alpa Ladani, First Lieutenant, 860-548-3291

The Drug Demand Reduction Program works closely with local law enforcement, education and community-based organizations to reduce the chances of exposure of illegal drugs to our nation’s children. They also contribute to drug prevention by providing National Guard led education based, leadership and motivational programs. Visit their site at http://ngbcounterdrug.ng.mil/programs/Pages/DrugDemandReduction.aspx. (No fee)

3. Courage to Speak Foundation, Norwalk, CT

Ms. Ginger Katz, 203-866-5282

The Courage To Speak Foundation Inc. is a nonprofit organization with a mission to save lives by empowering youth to be drug free. Ginger and her husband give compelling talks about losing their son Ian, who lost his life to addiction. Their presentations encourage open communication about the dangers of drug and alcohol use. For student groups as well as parents. Visit their site at www.couragetospeak.org. (Fees vary)

4. Dale “Mad Dog” Messmer, Cape Fair, MO

Mr. Dale Mesmer, 417-538-4321

As a speaker, Dale “MAD DOG” Messmer guarantees each audience will “believe and remember” his story. Without being obscene or offensive, Dale explains the consequences of his bad decisions and subsequent imprisonment on drug-related charges, and the life lessons he has acquired. Visit his site at http://www.mad-dog.org.

5. I AM DIRT, Western Massachusetts

Mr. John Morello, 413-267-5557, Cell 508-769-7028

A national speaker who is very highly regarded throughout Middlesex County, John brings I AM DIRT, a multi-media presentation that covers substance abuse and other high risk behaviors to high school audiences. Visit his site at www.johnmorello.com. (Fee of $1,500 includes travel)

6. The Improbable PLAYERS, Watertown, MA

Toll free at 1-800-437-4303

Dramatic performances with follow-up discussions and workshops about substance abuse prevention captures the attention of any youthful audience and gets them talking. Improbable PLAYERS puts an authentic face on recovery: all the actors have ‘been there’ in real life and are in long-term recovery from drug and alcohol abuse.

Visit their site at www.improbableplayers.org (Fees vary between $1,000 and $2,000.)

7. Interactive Educational Theatre, Fairfield, CT

Call 203-333-8009

This theater group travels across New England performing for elementary, middle and high schools, colleges, correctional facilities, and community organizations. With the use of humor and drama they address difficult issues by creating a comfortable learning environment. Improvisational theatre techniques allow for interaction between the actors and the audience. Visit their site at www.interactiveedtheatre.org.

8. Kids on the Block Puppets, Local Troupe – Clinton, CT

Mr. Michael Bon Tempo, 860-664-6503

Jared Eliot Middle School

Puppets the size of real-life toddlers, manned by talented middle school children, offer amazing presentations to elementary school children on a variety of topics. Our local troupe of Clinton youth are eager to make their presentation on prescription drugs to 1st through 3rd grade students at schools in Middlesex County. Visit the national site of “Kids on the Block” at www.kotb.com. (Modest fee for transportation)

9. Looking In Theatre, Hartford, CT

Mr. Jonathan Gillman, 860-521-4072, ext. 389 (or) 860-680-5269

Looking In is a theatre group composed of teenagers from the greater Hartford area. They present dramatic scenes dealing with important social, family, and personal issues such as drugs, alcohol, sexuality, AIDS, depression, suicide, and physical/mental and sexual abuse and how these issues affect adolescents. Visit their site at www.crec.org/magnetschools/schools/artsacademy/looking/index.php.

10. Michael Nerney & Associates, Long Lane, NY

Mr. Michael Nerney, 518-624-5351, P.O. Box 93, Long Lane, NY 12847

Past director of the Training Institute of Narcotics and Drug Research and a former high school coach, Michael Nerney trains and educates parents, teachers, and students. His areas of expertise include Psycho-pharmacology, Adolescent Chemical Dependency, and Relapse Prevention.

11. Mike Green and Collegiate Consultants, St. Davids, PA

Mr. Mike Green, 610-688-5850

Over the past 18 years, Mike has presented on more than 2000 campuses nationwide in his effort to make drug and alcohol awareness and education an integral part of every student’s life. Visit his site at http://www.mikegreeny.com/aboutus.html

12. Motivational Productions, Garden Ridge, TX

Toll free at 1-800-487-8464

A multi-media presentation on the topic of alcohol, drugs, partying and teens. Visit their site at www.motivationalpro.org. ($1000 fee)

Appeared at Portland High School, May 2010 (Mary Pont, Director, Portland Youth & Family Services)

Appeared at Cromwell High School, May 2010 (Ann Hale, Director, Cromwell Youth & Family Services)

13. Narcotic Enforcement Officers Association, Wallingford, CT

Mr. John M. Fournier, 203-269-8940

Presentations for professionals, communities, and students about recognizing and preventing drug use.

The association’s website is www.neoa.org.

14. Project Rap/Youth at Risk,

Connecticut Department of Correction, York Correctional Facility

Correctional Officer Ms. Rushford, 860-691-6505
Through this educational community service, young men and women inmate volunteers are brought into middle schools and high schools to speak about their experiences and address such issues as drugs, alcohol, HIV, peer pressure, gangs and violence, and turning one’s life around. (No fee historically, but may now require transportation fee due to state budget constraints.)


1. Anti-Defamation League, New York, NY

A World of Difference Institute at 212-885-7811

The World of Difference Institute provides anti-bias education and diversity training programs. The Institute seeks to help participants recognize bias and the harm it inflicts on individuals and society; explore the value of diversity; improve intergroup relations; and combat all forms of prejudice and bigotry. The “Names Can Really Hurt Us” Assembly Program is for middle and high school audiences. Visit their site at www.adl.org/education/edu_awod/default.asp. (Fees vary)

2. C. Kevin Wanzer

Toll free at 1-800-453-8469

With a motto of “empowering audiences, one laugh at a time,” Kevin provides elementary, middle, and high school audiences with bullying, alcohol & drug prevention skills, and lessons on personal integrity and leadership. Visit his site at www.kevinwanzer.com. (Fees vary)

3. Campuspeak

Call 303-745-5545

A national organization serving colleges and universities, Campuspeak connecst schools with dozens of top-notch speakers, some of whom can adapt their presentation to a high school audience. Visit their site at www.campuspeak.com. (Fees vary)

4. The Humor Project, Saratoga Springs, NY

Call 518-587-8770

Styled as a “learning-filled, laughter-fueled, top-rated program,” the Humor Project provides speakers for staff development seminars, keynote speeches, workshops, and conventions. Visit their site at www.humorproject.com. (Fees vary)

5. John Westhaver, Victoria, British Columbia

JMM Speaking at 250-514-5143

John Westhaver addresses driving issues with teens. He begins with the choices that teens make in everyday life and how significant they are. As he leads up to the events of the night of April 29, 1994, John speaks about his childhood and what type young man he was. John then recalls the gripping details of the fatal car crash and how he woke in the hospital a month later to learn that his friends had died that night. He recounts his challenging but miraculous journey to recovery and how his hardships have contributed to the life he leads today. A discussion about teens’ driving choices follows. Visit his site at www.jmmspeaking.com. (Fees vary)

Coginchaug Regional High School, April 2011

“I saw John before and he was terrific, so we invited him to visit our school before prom season.”

Jane Moen, Durham-Middlefield Youth & Family Services

6. John Gwynn, Middletown, CT

Mr. John Gwynn, 860-344-2986 ext. 7018

This juvenile probation officer at Middlesex Superior Court – and former UConn team player – will speak to middle and high school audiences on priorities, good decision-making, setting limits, and the role of sports in a healthy lifestyle. (Modest fee)

7. Josten’s Speakers Bureau, Lafayette, CA

Toll free at 1-800-541-4660.

An organization featuring top-rated speakers from around the country, topics include youth motivation, leadership development, drug and alcohol prevention, gangs, violence, sexual abstinence, character development, diversity, making responsible choices, youth culture, self-esteem, communication skills, resilience and many more. Fees range from $400 (when shared with other schools) to $2500. Visit their site at www.jostensspeakersbureau.com

8. Michael Pritchard, San Francisco, CA

Call Mr. Craig Jones, 415-379-9308

Nationally acclaimed keynote speaker (Wall Street Journal, CNN and Time) Michael Pritchard uses humor to inspire and educate his audiences on communication skills. He began his career on both the comedy stage and as a juvenile counselor in San Francisco’s Youth Guidance Center. He won both the San Francisco International Stand Up Comedy Competition and the California Probation Officer of the Year. Visit his site at http://www.michaelpritchard.com. (Fees vary)

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