New Bloomfield Smokebusters to host fundraiser 5k, dodgeball tourney

Members of the New Bloomfield Junior/High School Smokebusters pose at their inaugural Kick Butts 5K last year near the Stinson Creek Trail. This year's 5K will take place Oct. 13, and will feature fun and educational programs, and will raise money both to send Smokebusters members to a leadership conference in Chicago and to benefit charity.

Members of the New Bloomfield Junior/High School Smokebusters pose at their inaugural Kick Butts 5K last year near the Stinson Creek Trail. This year's 5K will take place Oct. 13, and will feature fun and educational programs, and will raise money both to send Smokebusters members to a leadership conference in Chicago and to benefit charity.

The New Bloomfield Smokebusters, a group of National Junior Honor Society (NJHS) students dedicated to promoting tobacco abstinence and a smoke-free campus, are planning their second annual “Kick Butts 5K” fundraiser Oct. 13 in Fulton, and a “Dodge Tobacco” dodgeball tournament Nov. 17 in the school gymnasium.

The race follows the Stinson Creek trail. The entry fee for the race is $20 before Oct. 8, and $25 after. The dodgeball tournament costs $5 per player for six to seven-member teams of New Bloomfield students and staff and $10 per player for the public. Proceeds from both events will benefit the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, and help send New Bloomfield’s NJHS students to the LEAD leadership conference Feb. 15-17 in Chicago.

A Campus-Community Alliances for Smoke-Free Environments program, New Bloomfield’s Smokebusters group was established three years ago as a NJHS service project to promote a tobacco-free campus at the school. Smokebusters faculty advisor Erin Hillis said the group has held events and assemblies, brought in guest speakers and set up signs on athletic fields to ask parents not to smoke during games.

“Smokebusters (have) done a lot of research and they've found that schools in rural communities or people who live in rural communities tend to struggle the most with smoking and tobacco-related illnesses, and so they targeted the smaller school districts,” said Hillis. “The message is (school age) is usually when people start smoking.”

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