CES Provides Local Youth Athletic Team With Anti-Drug Education Through Little League Sponsorship

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The illegal use of street drugs and pharmaceutical drugs is a huge situation that crosses all the lines and barriers of every level of society – and any age group. Consumer Energy Solutions has taken it upon themselves to nip the drug problem in the bud by providing anti-drug education to the athletic teams the company sponsors.

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The coaches are volunteers who also have families to support and jobs to maintain which both require a lot of their time and energy. Having a team sponsor to help with costs solves a huge problem for the coach and the team.

In 2014, almost 45% of 15 to 17-year-olds living in Pinellas County reported having used illicit drugs. 62.9% of Pinellas County high school students reported having used alcohol or other illicit drugs, and 30.3% of Pinellas County middle school students have used alcohol or other illicit drugs. (1) Noting a problem with illicit drug use in the community, full-service energy consulting company Consumer Energy Solutions (CES) decided to take matters into their own hands. CES has been providing anti-drug education to the children involved in the athletic teams the company sponsors in an attempt to curb drug use via education. CES currently sponsors the Clearwater Little League team, the Storm.

CES sponsored AAU basketball team the Tarheels in 2013, and sponsored Clearwater Little League team the Rays in 2013/2014; currently, the company is nurturing female athletes by sponsoring the Storm. In addition to providing the team with anti-drug education, CES sponsorship helps give an opportunity to girls to explore and participate in athletic programs. Girls who participate in sports receive long term benefits, including a better body image, more self-confidence, a lower chance of unintended pregnancy, and higher grades. (2) The Storm team members were provided a Truth About Drugs lesson at the start of the season.

“The kids work really hard in a typical Little League team,” says CES’s Community PR Representative, Lynn Posyton. “They have to do a lot of car washes and candy selling to get the team uniforms and to play in tournaments. It gets expensive. The coaches are volunteers who also have families to support and jobs to maintain which both require a lot of their time and energy. Having a team sponsor to help with costs solves a huge problem for the coach and the team.”

Posyton remembers one notable Truth About Drugs presentation when CES was sponsoring the teen AAU Basketball team, the Tarheels. Coach Ben Smith was reportedly unaware of the level of drug use going on in the community, while the boys were not.

“We asked what drugs they could buy at school, and the boys responded with drugs including ecstasy and painkillers. Coach Smith couldn't believe this was going on right under his nose,” says Posyton. CES provided weekly classes on the Truth About Drugs and had a speaker brought in each week to speak to the boys about their personal drug-use story.

Posyton, herself a mother of four and former PTA president, reaches out to like-minded groups in order to spread the anti-drug message on behalf of CES. In the past, Posyton has reached out to and delivered the anti-drug message to groups including the Boys Club of America and Admiral Farragut Academy. Posyton also represented CES at the Great American Teach-In. By taking their support of the Foundation for a Drug Free World a step further, using the Foundation’s Truth About Drugs materials, CES is able to take the activity out in to the community with events and news that has generated good will in the community towards their efforts.

The Foundation for a Drug-Free World seeks to empower youth and adults with factual information about drugs so they can make informed decisions and live drug-free. Through a worldwide network of volunteers, 50 million drug prevention booklets have been distributed, tens of thousands of drug awareness events have been held in some 180 countries and Truth About Drugs public service announcements have been aired on more than 500 television stations. (3)

About Consumer Energy Solutions, Inc.:

Headquartered in Clearwater, FL, Consumer Energy Solutions, Inc. (CES) is one of the nation’s foremost full-service energy consulting companies, with over two million residential and 300,000 commercial customers across the United States and Canada, including many Fortune 500 companies. Founded in 1999 by Patrick J. Clouden, CES transitioned in 2004 from selling primarily to residential customers to selling primarily to businesses. The company’s long-standing relationships with the largest independent energy suppliers in the U.S., coupled with its unparalleled knowledge of the industry, give CES customers access to the most competitive electricity and natural gas rates available in their area. CES is dedicated to educating its customers about the choices available to them as energy consumers, and to helping them, in a volatile energy market, to balance short-term savings against long-term risk. The company’s mission is to assist its commercial clients in better managing their energy costs so as to add to their bottom line. CES is an industry leader in providing its clients with effective strategies and solutions to reduce energy costs. References are available upon request. For more information, visit http://www.consumerenergysolutions.com.

1. “Pinellas County Substance Abuse Profile”; 2015. pinellas.floridahealth.gov/programs-and-services/community-health-planning-and-statistics/data-and-reports/_documents/substance-abuse-profile-2015.pdf

2. Brown, Lane. “Girls in Sports: 'Like a Girl' Has Never Been More Important”; Christian Science Monitor; February 5, 2015. csmonitor.com/The-Culture/Family/Modern-Parenthood/2015/0205/Girls-in-sports-Like-A-Girl-has-never-been-more-important

3. “Who We Are”; Foundation for a Drug-Free World. drugfreeworld.org/about-us/about-the-foundation.html

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