Say What! Action Summit aims to keep kids tobacco free

WICHITA FALLS, TX (KAUZ) - A push to keep kids away from tobacco is on its way to Wichita Falls.

It is called the Say What! Action Summit.

Its goal is to keep young people from using tobacco and teach them to speak up about change.

Cara Herr-Sauceda, CEO of the Burkburnett Boys and Girls Club will be taking 15 of her kids to the summit.

"Say What Action Summit is a very innovative way of getting pre-teens and teenagers involved in creating a difference in their communities," Herr-Sauceda said.

Each summit focuses on keeping kids from starting smoking and organizers said the leadership skills they learn translate into many aspects of life.

"It inspires them and gives them the tools and equipment to come back in their communities and create tobacco-free communities," she said.

The day-long event is being hosted by the Tobacco Prevention and Control Coalition on Saturday, February 4th.

Johny-Joe Routon, the Administrative Assistant at the Boys and Girls Club took part in his first Say What! summit last year.

"I enjoyed seeing the kids go out and actually doing something responsible and that's actually going to help them out in the future. That's one of my favorite parts about this job," Routon said.

His support for the summit comes from the tragedy he has experienced first hand.

"I've personally been affected by people who have passed away from lung cancer because they've smoked," he said.

With a little less than two weeks to go before the big event, organizers are hoping to inspire local teens to make a change for the better.

"Kids need to understand how to make a difference in the communities. They need to understand what steps to go through. How is it that they can contact their legislature. How is it that they can get involved and make a difference. Things like Say What, it gives them the tools and the equipment and the knowledge on how to make a difference in the things that are important to them" Herr-Sauceda said.

The summit is free and is being held at the MPEC on 5th and Burnett.

Breakfast and lunch will be provided.

If you want to attend, you're encouraged to sign up by Wednesday, January 18th.

But, organizers said that is a soft deadline.

Click here to sign up.

If you have any questions call the TPCC at (940) 761-6834.

Samantha Forester, Newschannel 6

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