The idea and desire to pursue a Newaygo County FAN chapter initially began with the concern and heartache of one mom, Lisa Reed. A family member of Lisa's overdosed on heroin, but fortunately, with emergency intervention by a Fremont Police officer and a couple doses of Narcan, his life was saved.
The heavy burden of watching heroin and illegal opiate abuse take its toll on her family and loved ones led Lisa to the office of Chief Randy Wright of the Fremont Police Department. She shared with him the suffering and solitude that comes with having undeniable knowledge about illegal opiate use, but being unable to do anything positive to change the circumstances. During this initial meeting, they also discussed the need to be able to reach out to individuals or families in the county who may be in similar situations; as well as the need to educate people in Newaygo County who are unaware of how prevalent but detrimental illegal drugs can be.
Chief Wright was keenly aware of these issues and was like-minded in his wish to support making positive changes. He realized there were many entities in the county that could help with this undertaking if they were all able to come under the same umbrella. Under the skillful leadership of Chief Wright, amazing people united to form our chapter in a relatively short time.
Newaygo County's FAN chapter was initially started to begin a dialog with all the communities in Newaygo County, to help educate people about how prominent the heroin, methamphetamine, and illegal opiate use has become. One of our goals is to create a healthy environment for anyone to come to, whether they be students, professionals, people struggling with addiction, family members, friends, or just someone looking for information. We do not judge. We want to offer a positive, comfortable atmosphere where people can learn and get support, advice, or guidance about drugs or addiction.
Too often, the attitude that "drugs and drug addiction do not occur in my home, my neighborhood, my backyard, my school, my playground, or my church" is present. As responsible adults and parents, we can no longer afford to have this misconstrued perception. Heroin and illegal drugs know no age, race, gender, or religious or socioeconomic barrier. This is an epidemic that we in Newaygo County must open our eyes to and talk to our families and children about. There are 2,000 teenagers and children that abuse prescription drugs every day for the first time; many of those become addicted. As a Facebook post said: "Addiction is a family disease, one person may use, but the entire family suffers."
As one of FAN's newest chapters, we are truly blessed to have a group of dedicated volunteers that include our local school systems, law enforcement, mental health, the court system, doctors, churches, and family members of people in recovery from addiction. We are a community-based program and a non-profit 403b. Our mission is to raise awareness of illegal drugs and change the face and stigma of addiction. We want no family to ever have to suffer alone. We are here to do our best to help the suffering and support the addicted. Please come and join us and help our members to grow.
Lisa has lived in Newaygo County for more than 45 years and has worked in the healthcare field for over 25 years. Along with other concerned community members, Lisa recognized the dire need for a FAN Chapter in Newaygo County, and after several months the chapter became reality. She is the proud, but humble, mother of a son who is less than a year into recovery. She is aware of the devastation that addiction can cause a family and is devoted to helping people struggling with addiction, and their families, receive support, education, and long-term recovery plans. "With FAN, NO family suffers alone!"
Randy has been with the Fremont Police Department for 24 years and has been the chief of police for the past 4 years. Randy served on the SWAT team for 17 years and has done a short stint with the multi-agency narcotics team. During his tenure, he has witnessed firsthand the devastating impact drugs have had on Fremont. Randy has lived in Fremont for 25 years, has been married for 23 years, and has two adult children. He advocates for community-based policing and feels FAN is a great extension of the services the Fremont PD provides.
Kaleigh has worked in the field of substance abuse prevention for five years. During this time, she has seen how addiction can destroy relationships and families. She currently works with local agency staff and community members to enact systems and policy changes to make it harder for youth to ever start using. Kaleigh believes that if we can keep youth from ever starting, we can improve the face of addiction. She also thinks that reaching families through the work of FAN is such an important aspect in preventing and treating addiction.
Ellsworth Stay is the prosecuting attorney for Newaygo County. He has over 15 years experience working in the criminal justice system and has seen firsthand the devastating effects of addiction on people’s behavior. He believes that the criminal justice system is not always fully equipped to deal with the wide-ranging issues surrounding addiction, and that community-based groups, such as FAN, can bolster efforts to combat addiction. Worth volunteers on several other local boards, including the Newaygo County Council for the Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect, and is the former president of White Cloud Rotary.
Bio coming soon.
Bryan moved to Newaygo County in 1984 when he began at the Newaygo County Sheriff’s Department. He spent more than 30 years as a deputy there and was involved in a number of special teams and projects. After that, Bryan was elected as county commissioner for District #2. He has witnessed firsthand the destruction drugs can cause in the lives of people and their families. He knows that it is only with a conscious decision by a user that they can help themselves, and, even then, a supportive family and team is needed. He is with FAN in its supportive role for the prevention and eradication of narcotics abuse and addiction.
Newaygo County Under Sheriff
Newaygo County Regional Education Service Agency, Career Development Specialist
Trooper, Michigan State Police
CEO President Family Health Care
Fremont Area Community Foundation,
Senior Philanthropy Officer
MD, Specializing in Addiction Medicine