In Aug. 20 IssueBy Kim GrahamTimes Journal Reporter
On your mark, get set, shoot - that is, shoot pictures. Last Friday night Russell County Partners in Prevention (RCPIP) sponsored Back to School Photo Frenzy offering an evening of fun competition and cash prizes for local youth.
"I know when I was a teenager, I would have loved to win $150," said Ashley Adamson with Partners in Prevention.
Three teams of teens traveled to various locations in Russell County in a race to earn points by taking pictures of specific people in those locations.
Accumulating the most points and returning to Russell County Courthouse first would decide the winner of first place and $150 in cash.
"I came up with the idea," said Kinzie Wells. "I played this at Old Liberty Church with 5 or 6 youth groups. It was fun!"
RCPIP took the idea and made it an event to bring awareness to their efforts to prevent drug abuse and to offer an alternative activity for youth in Russell County.
The event was open to 6th through 12th grade students and offered not only a fun outing but cash rewards.
In addition to the first prize of $150, the second place team received $100 and the third place team received $50 in cash.
Volunteers from the community waited at 10 different locations in the county for each team to find and photograph them during the race.
"They're just such a good bunch of kids," said Julie Beckmann, volunteer for the event at the Russell County Extension Office. "It was a really unique and fun thing to do. The kids seemed really to enjoy it."
Extra points were given to teams who produced a picture of the RCPIP billboard, a picture of a person on the team wearing a green shirt or a picture of the group on the swings at Russell Springs City Park.
A special bonus was given for a picture of each person in the group wearing a RCPIP t-shirt.
The team returning first with the most points was Brenna Murray, Nikota Wheat, and J.R. Simpson.
"Our youth group members from Bethesda Community Fellowship Church (BCFC) won first and third place," said J.R. Simpson co-Youth Leader at BCFC. "The prize money is going into our youth fund and we'll use it for different outings that we go on throughout the year."
Russell County High School Senior, Brenna Murray, a 4 year member of the Drug Free Student Council, was a member of the first place team.
"I really liked it," said Brenna Murray. "It was so much fun and very competitive."
She said she and her friends liked the event so much, that it has drawn attention from other students who have been asking about the next time a photo frenzy event will be held.
Supporters of the event agree fun outings are helping to spread the word about drug abuse prevention.
"I think the photo frenzy is a wonderful idea," said Simpson. "It was a great way to let people know about Russell County Partners in Prevention. Their message goes hand in hand with what we already teach the kids at church."
Nickota Wheat, a RCHS senior, enjoyed the competition of Photo Frenzy.
"I thought it was really fun and I can't wait to have it again," said Nickota Wheat. "I think the adrenaline of wanting to win was the most fun."
Second place winners were Leah Stephens, David Stephens, Morgan Glover, and Sarah Stephens. The third place team was Kinzie Wells, Rebekah McGuire, and Rebekah Simpson.
"Teenagers are always complaining that there's nothing to do," said Murray. "At least this gives them one night when they can't say that."
For additional information, contact Russell County Partners in Prevention at 270-343-6247.