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Courage to Speak": a town hall meeting to discuss why we must talk with drug-abusing and alcohol-abusing teens before it's too late for them


 A sweet, adventurous little boy that grew up to become a bass guitar player, Todd Peurifoy never played long enough to see the band he was in, "Broken Image", hit stardom as "We The Kings".  Peurifoy took his own life in 2005 when he was 18, after a battle with prescription drugs. 

Jack Lyerly, a student at Bradenton Christian, says the death of his older brother changed his life forever.  Left only with memories of Todd, the Lyerly family has taken their pain and turned it into a solution: his mother Ruth helped pass a prescription drug monitoring program in the state of Florida. Just one life lost that could prevent many more gone.  

In 2006, two Manatee High graduates were out on the town -- a night which would change their lives and that of their families forever.  The vehicle they were in crashed off of the Anna Maria Island Bridge.  Monica Costello's son, only 20 at the time, was a passenger in the vehicle -- and after being left underwater for more than 10 minutes, Ryan is left completely disabled and 100% dependent.  Troopers say alcohol was to blame.  Now the mother left to care for her son, a quadriplegic without the ability of brain function, speaks locally about the dangers of drinking and driving.  Theirs is a story that needs to be heard.  

Please join Jack Lyerly and Monica Costello, along with Manatee County teens and adults with "The Courage to Speak", at a Town Hall meeting presented by the Manatee County Substance Abuse Coalition. It's on Wednesday, April 14th at 6 p.m. at Pirate City in Bradenton. Pirate City is located at 1701 27th Street East.  Eighteen students, including Jack Lyerly, have already been trained to co-facilitate the conversation amongst teens, parents and adults about the 'Consequences of Silence'.  

Teens and adults can make a difference, before lives are lost or changed forever.   


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