By CHRIS AGEE
Entertainment and advocacy merged to form the second annual Call to Action Rally Thursday evening at Mineral Wells High School.
Coordinated by the Palo Pinto County Drug Endangered Children Alliance, the event was planned to promote awareness concerning the risks faced by children exposed to drug abuse. Many locals showed up to show support, though attendance was down from last year’s approximately 300 ralliers.
DEC Chairman and District Attorney Mike Burns presented an overview of the alliance, explaining why the organization is a vital presence in our community.
By pooling the resources of prosecutors, law enforcement, medical professionals, Child Protective Services, Court Appointed Special Advocates, places of worship, and drug treatment programs, he said the DEC is able to comprehensively respond to situations involving at-risk children.
“What makes our group so effective?” he asked. “It brings together all these professionals into one group.”
He said a major mission is combatting children’s exposure to drug violence, which he noted is widespread in today’s society.
“The police officers here see this every day,” he added.
Such difficult issues are easier to tackle through the combined efforts of the DEC, Burns explained.
“Instead of working in our own world, we work in what we call a multi-disciplinary world,” he said, explaining every agency involved agreed to work according to a set of standards and toward a common goal.
“Everybody involved sat down and said, ‘Yes, we will abide by those protocols,’” he recalled.
Though he expressed a desire to see the entire MWHS auditorium filled with supporters, Burns said it is positive to see the program continue.
“The first time we did it we had more,” he conceded, “but you see we’re not going away.”
In addition to the presentation, attendees were treated to a number of performances by Dancin’ Etc., the Mineral Wells Junior High choir and Travis Elementary Cadets.