First Step to Honor Sheriff Tom Knight at 11th Annual Caring Hearts Luncheon

First Step of Sarasota, Inc., a non-profit substance abuse treatment agency, will be honoring Sarasota County Sheriff Tom Knight at the 11th Annual Caring Hearts Luncheon, February 19, 2014 at Michael’s On East.

Each year, First Step presents the Caring Heart of the Year award to an individual who has made a positive impact in the community, with a focus on those whose efforts have improved the lives of women and children or have dedicated themselves to raising awareness or providing treatment for substance abuse or mental health disorders.  Since being elected, Sheriff Knight has worked diligently to increase awareness of the dangers of prescription drug abuse.  He implemented a Pharmaceutical Diversion Investigative Unit and permanent drop boxes for the safe disposal of unused medications.  Recently, Sheriff Knight brought the state’s Safe Sleep campaign to Sarasota County.  The Sheriff’s Office is working with child safety advocates to educate mothers about safe sleeping environments and will provide them with brand new portable cribs.

The Caring Hearts Luncheon benefits First Step’s Mothers and Infants program.  Now in its 11th year, the Caring Hearts Luncheon is not just a fund raising event, but a celebration of the healthy, drug-free babies born each year thanks to the efforts of the Mothers & Infants program.  In this specialized program, pregnant women receive both group and individual counseling for their substance abuse disorders, along with parenting, nutrition and life skills classes.  The residential program is proud to have celebrated the births of 322 healthy, drug-free babies.

In addition to helping women change their lives and deliver healthy, drug-free babies, Mothers & Infants saves the tax payers of this community hundreds of thousands of dollars each year, when considering the high cost of medical care needed for babies born to women who used drugs through the duration of their pregnancies.  Caring Hearts is all about happy beginnings.

For more information about the 11th Annual Caring Hearts Luncheon, call Kelly French at 941-552-2065.

ABC 7 – WWSB – My Suncoast – K-2 incidents increase

SARASOTA, Fla. – A rash of incidents involving the consumption of so-called “spice” is raising concerns in the community.

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