Posted Monday, November 12th, 2012

A parent-youth summit, “Making a Difference Through Positive Choices,” will be held Wednesday, Nov. 28, from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at the Meadow Wood Manor on Route 10 in Randolph.

The summit, sponsored by the Morris County Department of Human Services, is designed to enlighten and empower youth, parents, law enforcement officials, educators and community members to promote responsibility and community through the ALOHA spirit, said Stephen Nebesni, the department’s Municipal Alliance Coordinator.

According to Nebesni, the “aloha” spirit will be explained during the summit by the evening’s featured speaker, Kevin Wanzer, who in 1984 became one of the youngest people to be appointed by a president to serve as a delegate to the White House Conference for a Drug Free America.

Aloha in Hawaiian means peace and compassion, and Wanzer said he uses the spirit of aloha, along with humor and his personal experiences to highlight how adults, youth and the community as a whole can become empowered to make healthy choices.

“It’s like organized chaos,” Wanzer said. “I don’t feel like I’m there giving a speech. Instead, I’m simply sharing what is in my heart and on my mind in a fun, energetic and engaging way.”

The summit is free and a light dinner will be provided beginning at 5:30 p.m. The evening will also feature service provider information tables, as well as break-out groups and a period for information sharing among the attendees.

“Those attending the summit will learn the value of focusing on the positive and how we all can contribute to a healthy community through the spirit of aloha,” Nebesni said.

With seating limited and on a first come, first serve basis, pre-registration by Nov. 16 is required. To register or to obtain more information, call 1-866-782-5273.

The program is being supported by the Morris County Board of Chosen Freeholders; the Mental Health Substance Abuse Advisory Board; the County Alliance Steering Subcommittee; the Municipal Alliances of Morris County; the Governor’s Council on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse; Morris County Partners in Substance Abuse Prevention; Morris County Prevention is Key; and Saint Clare’s Health System.