A team of Firefighters founded Drug Free Clubs of America in 2005 in response to the drug-related tragedies they witnessed every day. They regularly were called on to rescue people whose lives had been devastated by overdoses, violence, accidents, or even death. To them there was nothing more difficult than being called to a scene resulting in the loss of a young life. This was especially true when it was caused by something as avoidable as drug abuse, and it stung even more to know that every single one of those teens were drug-free at one point.
SOMETHING HAD TO BE DONE
Something so tempting and rewarding to teens that it would be stronger than the temptation of experimenting with drugs.
Something that could somehow be present in the very moment a teen is choosing to do drugs or turn and walk away.
Something that makes the right choice easy because saying “no” has proven to be too hard for too many.
That “SOMETHING” is Drug Free Clubs of America.
Today, teens in Drug Free Clubs of America are rewarded for choosing to remain drug free. They have the ability to say “I CAN’T. I MIGHT BE TESTED.” This offers an easy way out of a tough situation, and parents know their children have powerful protection from drug abuse in the moment it counts the most.
2005: The concept of DFCA is born in a Cincinnati, Ohio firehouse.
2006: DFCA legally becomes a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. Medicount Management enlists as the Champion Funder for schools in the Greater Cincinnati area.
2006: Chapters begin opening as Northern Kentucky embraces DFCA. Walton-Verona is the flagship school for the state of Kentucky.
2008: Covington Catholic High School becomes the first chapter to exceed 50% voluntary participation, making students choosing NOT to be in the club a minority.
2010: Gary and Flip West become Champion Funders for any schools in Ohio County, West Virginia. Efforts to launch were spearheaded by former Sheriff, FBI and DEA agent Tom Burgoyne. Wheeling Central Catholic High School is the first to adopt the program becoming West Virginia’s flagship school, joined by Wheeling Park High School only 1 month later.
2011: Presidentially appointed United States Attorney Bill Ihlenfeld, the Ohio Valley Athletic Conference, and area Drug Enforcement Agents all take stands as DFCA supporters. Chapters begin opening Northern West Virginia through various funding sources. DFCA sets a program record of over 1,000 simultaneously active members in one school year.
2012: West Liberty becomes the first university to offer a scholarship to members at certain schools who are in Drug Free Clubs for all 4 years of high school. Also, as a strategic plan for growth, and in keeping with DFCA’s belief in strength through collaboration, pilot partnerships are formed with like-minded organizations wishing to provide DFCA’s strategy for their communities.
2014: The United States grants Drug Free Clubs of America trademark rights of the mantra, “Making the Right Choice Easy.” The 2014 school year closes with 3300 active members, a 175% growth over the previous year!
2015: DFCA is honored with the 2015 Community Outreach Award, a major recognition presented by Presidentially appointed United States Attorney William Ihlenfeld II.
2016: Continuing to grow, a new branch in Ross County, Ohio provided by their local Rotary club becomes the first to launch with all local high schools on board from day one. Most impressive is that the community has eight high schools! More universities begin to offer new scholarships in West Virginia, and membership throughout the club hits a record of over 6,000 teens!