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Peers increase awareness of how using marijuana, alcohol can affect normal teen brain development

COURTESY PHOTO: OC TOGETHER - Eva Xochil and Dave Buel, owner of Buels Impressions Printing, honor the partnership between Oregon City businesses and students for a drug-free community.COURTESY PHOTO: OC TOGETHER - OC student Jubilee Rosensteel and World HeARTS Fair Trade owner Robin May display Rosensteel's poster at the store.Oregon City students' Halloween-themed posters are popping up all over town as part of a drug-free coalition's annual Go Big Halloween Poster Celebration.

Oregon City Together is encouraging students in grades 5-12 to make posters conveying the risks of using drugs for people their age. Buel's Impressions Printing donated enlargements of their posters, which are being displayed in the windows of retailers and businesses throughout Oregon City. All kids who make posters are entered in a prize drawing.COURTESY PHOTO: OC TOGETHER - Grocery Outlet store managers Ritchie Sabin and Anthony Joos flank Oregon City student Jemma Rippe is celebrating the teenager's poster-contest entry.COURTESY PHOTO: OC TOGETHER - Julie Allen, CEO of Mary Rose Boutique, stands with Cameron Levin and Levin's Halloween poster creation.

"It's a fun way to remind students, parents and the public of the risks of youth drug use," says Maureen Palaoro, Oregon City Together chair and middle school health teacher. "This effort involves influential peer-to-peer communications to increase awareness of how using drugs like marijuana and alcohol can affect normal teen brain development and lead to addiction."

Palaoro added that the poster celebration receives outstanding community support.

"The business community donates prizes and displays the posters," she said. "Schools, teachers and parents encourage student participation."

Go Big Halloween Poster Celebration is sponsored by the Oregon City Optimists and is also funded, in part, with a Youth Substance Abuse Prevention Grant from Clackamas County Children, Family & Community Connections.

Every poster-contest entrant's name will be entered once into a drawing, providing equal chances of winning as determined by the number of participants, who will be notified by Nov. 8. Prizes include six Pizza Hut packages of two large pizzas; 30 $20 Pizza Hut gift cards; a $25 White Rabbit gift certificate; two $25 Fred Meyer gift cards; a $25 Grocery Outlet gift card; three $10 Menchie's Frozen Yogurt gift certificates; a $25 Menchies cake; a $25 World Hearts Fair Trade gift certificate; a $25 Geeks & Games gift certificate; and 100 Mike's Drive In ice cream cone tokens.

The deadline to submit posters online and enter prize drawing is 5 p.m. Wednesday, October 27. All students in grades 5 to 12 living in the Oregon City School District area are encouraged to enter by going to the Oregon City Together website at

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