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Saturday, March 24, 2018

Katelyn Texeira photo

Task force uses food to spread message about worldwide tobacco issues

By Katelyn Texeira

Ranger-Review student intern

Dawson Community College hosted International Night on Monday, Feb. 26 in an effort to spread awareness regarding tobacco use nationwide.

The event was sponsored by the Tobacco and Chronic Disease Prevention Task Force at DCC and was held in the library.

Because DCC brings in students from all over the world, the task force deemed it important to address the tobacco use as a worldwide issue with the hope of reaching the wide variety of DCC students who may be affected by the use of tobacco.

Each table at the event held a dish from a specific country, and the display included a list of facts with reference to tobacco use in the country to allow the attendees to gain knowledge on results of tobacco use.

“Events like these help us reach out to our students and get them involved, as well as enlightening students on the severity of the tobacco products. We want to make a positive impact on the students in any way we can,” said Tami Johnson, task force advisor.

Johnson and her task force have put on this event for the past three years with the event always being well attended by DCC students.

Johnson’s task force is made up of three student athletes at DCC: Hailee Gregerson, Lexi Pettersen and Katelyn Teixeira.

Pettersen said they were very pleased by the turnout of the event.

“Seeing the amount of support we have from the staff and students means a lot to us, and we are grateful that they have supported all of our events throughout the year,” she said.

A multitude of students, faculty and staff who have roots or personal connections to other countries brought dishes representing their ties for the potluck.

Head DCC Women’s Basketball Coach Romeo Lagmay brought food representing the Philippines. Lagmay has lots of family living in the province of Santa Maria, Ilocos Sur., a place Lagmay visited in the mid 90s.

Student Subash Mishra represented Nepal, which is his home country and where part of his family currently resides.

Maxwell Knodel represented Germany, giving a nod to his nationality.

Wife to DCC’s head men’s basketball coach, Daneen Peterson, brought food representing Kenya. Daneen and her husband, Joe, both lived in Kenya for years.

Johnson and her task force help put on several events and activities around campus focusing on Tobacco Awareness and Chronic Disease. They are awarded scholarship money by the Montana Collegiate Tobacco Prevention Initiative, which funded through the Montana tobacco use prevention program.

The group has successfully hosted Red Ribbon Week, splash pong for thyroid cancer, and the Great American Smokeout breakfast for health earlier in the school year.

On March 21, Johnson and her student workers will be putting on “Kick-Butts Day,” which encourages students, faculty and staff to take a stand against tobacco products.

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