(Beaver Dam) Members of the Dodge County Crime Prevention Funding Board praised a performance this weekend at the Beaver Dam Area Community Theatre meant to raise awareness about the heroin epidemic. “With One Voice: Letters from the Opioid Crises Zone” was presented as a dramatization of personal stories, poems and letters along with musical interludes. The performance was followed by a panel discussion with those on the front lines of the problem: law enforcement, human services, counselors and non-profit support groups. The show was funded by the first-ever grant distributed by the Dodge County Crime Prevention Board, which gets money from a $20 fee that is added to each felony and misdemeanor case in the county.
District Attorney Kurt Klomberg, Vice-Chair of the board, says the group did not know what they were going to get when they funded the venture. Klomberg says he was thrilled by the turnout from the public, the questions the audience directed to the panel and the message that come through in the play. “I think it was exactly what we were hoping for,” Klomberg said. Sheriff Dale Schmidt, the Chair of the Crime Prevention Funding Board, says the theatre did an excellent putting together a great show and getting the message out about the dangers of heroin and available recovery opportunities.
There was no charge to attend the performances this weekend. Donations were accepted for Dodge County’s domestic violence shelter PAVE, People Against A Violent Environment and CARE, Community Awareness Recovery Environment, a non-profit that offers support groups and recovery coaches to those seeking help from addiction. Recovering addict Desiree Grin, who has been clean since 1995, is on the CARE Board of Directors. She both performed in the production and sat on the panel. Grin says she was blown away by the presentation of the stories, the diversity of the actors and the panel, and the turnout from the community. She noted the positive message in the show that highlighted the importance of support from family and friends. “Be honest with the people around you because they care more than you know,” Grin says, “People care and they want to help.”
The crime prevention funding board will announce its latest recipients in May and is accepting applications. The grant is for private nonprofit organizations in Dodge County whose purpose is preventing crime, providing a funding source for crime prevention programs, encouraging the public to report crime, or assisting law enforcement agencies in the apprehension of criminal offenders. The grant can also be used by a law enforcement agency in the county that has a crime prevention fund.
Photo by Tina Pawicz