UCAM5

BREAKOUT BOX

UCAM5

What:

United Communities Against Meth Forum, UCAM5.

When:

6 p.m., Friday, Oct. 30.

Where:

Columbia Room, Werner University Center, Western Oregon University, Monmouth.

Format:

An hour-long presentation will be followed by a 30-minute Q&A.

Of Note:

Residents can also bring clean clothing or toys they may want to donate for the "T-shirt and Toy Drive" to the event. Red collection boxes will also be stationed around various locales in Dallas, Monmouth and Independence until Dec. 18.

For more information:

www.ucameth.org; e-mail to nwbp1@msn.com.

POSSIBLE HEAD: Forum will address ongoing meth crisis

MONMOUTH -- It's been five years since United Communities Against Meth (UCAM) held its first forum, which featured a collection of law enforcement, state and health officials weighing in on the individual and societal impact of drug use.

Pending an unlikely scenario in which drugs cease to be a problem, the annual meetings will continue and grow in scope, said coordinator and co-founder Paul Pfnister.

"The biggest desire is when people come to these they take away knowledge and a passion to keep our youth on track," Pfnister said. "And to walk away with the tools in hand to do it."

This year's forum is scheduled Friday, Oct. 30, at Western Oregon University. Admission is free.

UCAM is a nonprofit organization that receives financial support from Western and the Monmouth-Independence YMCA.

In the past, the initiative has published resource guides for drug assistance programs, held identity theft seminars and become a permanent project for the university's public health classes.

Prescription drugs will be the focus of this year's event. And instead of the usual multiguest panel, a one-hour presentation will be conducted by Lincoln County District Attorney Rob Bovett, who was also chairman of Gov. Kulongoski's Oregon Meth Task Force.

Pfnister said the talk will be recorded and transferred to DVD.

"We'll be making them available at no cost to schools and universities as teaching material," Pfnister said, adding that there are plans to eventually post the video in its entirety on the UCAM Web site.

The organization is also taking clothing and toy donations for children and families in need during the holiday season.

Pfnister said he believes UCAM is making a difference, whether it is by providing data to forum attendees or for his volunteers.

"One of our interns is now working for a youth authority in Alaska, helping kids who've been affected by drugs," he said. "We want to develop this program here, so our students can take UCAM and start it wherever they go."

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