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The 411

by Maggie O'Neill

Welcome to the first edition of 411 – the parenting and education section running Mondays in the Nevada Appeal. Inside, you will find a list of contacts for agencies in the area, as well as a calendar and news briefs. The Whatever page, featuring Top Kids, is running again, on the back page of 411.

Hope you enjoy it. Please write and let us know of any suggestions.

In other news, St. Teresa of Avila is back at it, with its 26th “Run with the Son” -athon Friday. While I thought the “Son” was a typo for “Sun,” connoisseurs of this event will know which one is correct.

The fund-raiser helps pay operating costs at the Catholic school. Baked goods, candy, juice and T-shirts will be for sale at the event from 8:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Friday.

“The students go through the community and get sponsors for the amount of laps they complete or just a flat donation,” said coordinator Mike Lewis. “All the students will be wearing T-shirts that list sponsors that placed their name on the shirts for a donation.”

For more information, call St. Teresa at 882-1968.

As a side note, I must say that one benefit of staying with the faith is you avoid calling up a Catholic school and asking exactly what “Son” they’re speaking of.

For April’s Kick Butts Day, students from Carson and Douglas high schools were in full throttle, putting up signs at Mills Park alerting passers-by that in the United States one person dies from a smoking-related disease every 72 seconds or by letting legislators see the difference between healthy lungs and tobacco-ridden lungs.

Across the nation, states are beginning to change smoking laws. On Oct. 1, Montana will become the eighth state to be smoke-free, meaning smoking will be banned in offices, restaurants and offices. Montana’s bars have another four years to comply. Ironically, Montana was the backdrop for many of the Marlboro Man cigarette ads.

Other states that have passed smoke-free legislation are California, Delaware, New York, Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts and Rhode Island. For more information on legislation, go to http://www.smoke-free.net.

I’d be interested in including in this column your personal experiences about smoking – either why you started or how you stopped, so we can provide perspective to young people.

My own story went a little against the getting-hooked-as-a-teen statistic. I first picked up a cigarette, which became a habit, at age 21. I was in Prague, Czech Republic, and under the influence of a Marlboro Man I met there – a young Australian who said things like “bloody” and rolled his own cigarettes.

Anyway, I believe that the things that we put into our bodies dictate what we get out of them. On this beat, I’ve met way too many people with cancer, emphysema and tracheotomies to believe there’s anything to gain.

Enough for now. Write or call and tell me what’s happening in your world.

n Maggie O’Neill can be reached at mo’neill@recordcourier.com or 782-5121, ext. 214.