2017 Youth Prevention Conference at Gadsden State Cherokee

The 2017 Cherokee County Youth Prevention Conference could certainly be considered one of the biggest and brightest in the history of that event, featuring outstanding performances by comedian and host Craig Tornquist, motivational speaker Pete Key and Tom Guy aka the Media Guy with a special surprise guest appearance by local singer Savannah Leighton who recently appeared on NBC’s the Voice.  Savannah will next appear during the Battle Rounds, which will begin next week.

The Youth Prevention Conference is organized by the Substance Abuse Prevention Team of the CED Mental Health Center.

That program is focused on helping youth make the right decisions in life on many different levels, starting at an early age.  The messages were presented in fun ways that involved the students – including a “dance contest” consisting mainly of music recorded waaaaay before most of these kids were ever born, and a “beauty contest” centered on that “high hair” style of the 80’s that left many a lovely lady hiding a decade’s worth of photos in later years.

All the fun and games returned each time to reality.  Life is about decision making and hard decisions will have to be made throughout your life.  Make the right choices.

This year Cherokee County students from grades 9 – 12 attended the event, which was held in the arena on the campus of Gadsden State Cherokee and thanks to the generosity of local merchants and organizations they were able to attend at no cost to the families.  Each student also received a free t-shirt and a tote bag.


The CED Mental Health Center

Cherokee County Healthcare Authority

Cedar Bluff Mayor & Town Council

Centre Mayor & Town Council

Cherokee County Board of Education

Leesburg Mayor & Town Council

Sand Rock Mayor & Town Council

Cherokee Electric Co op

Cherokee Gas

Centre Walmart

Cedar Bluff Piggly Wiggly

Nancy Steed, Cherokee County Prevention Specialist expressed her appreciation to all those at the Chamber of Commerce – Theresa Hulgan, Joy Perry, and Barbara Cochran – for all the hard work and for everything they do to help make the event a success every year.  She also thanked Gadsden State for their security detail, and Cherokee County Sheriff Jeff Shaver for providing additional on-site security and organizing trustees to help with set-up and break-down before and after the event.


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