Sunny’s Story

A drug prevention book written by a mother who lost her son to a drug overdose from the viewpoint of the family beagle, Sunny. It's a great learning tool for kids, parents, teachers, and others.

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The Courage to Speak® Foundation.

February 18, 2016

CONTACT: Ginger Katz
PHONE: 1-877-431-3295

Courage to Speak Foundation’s 20th Year in Mission to Save Lives

“The 12th Annual Courage to Speak Empowering Youth to be Drug-Free Family Night”

The Courage to Speak Foundation was founded by Ginger Katz in 1996 after her son Ian died of an accidental heroin and prescription drug overdose.  Since then, it has been her mission to do everything in her power to prevent this tragedy from happening to another family.  This marks the 20th year fulfilling that mission.

The Foundation trains classroom teachers and professional facilitators to teach the drug prevention programs and coordinates community events fostering commitment to drug prevention education, thereby saving lives.  The next event is the 12th Annual Courage To Speak® Empowering Youth to Be Drug-Free Family Night will take place on Monday, March 14, 2016, 5:45 p.m., at West Rocks Middle School, 81 West Rocks Road, in Norwalk (snow date:  March 15).

All are invited to the event, which will bring students, parents, educators, school and government officials, business and community leaders together to affirm their commitment to keep children safe from drugs and other risky behaviors. Dinner will be served.

This exciting media event will spotlight the outstanding work and words of students who participate in the Courage to Speak Foundation’s programs/curricula taught by their health class teachers in Nathan Hale, Ponus Ridge, Roton, and West Rocks Middle School, as well as Brookside Elementary School and Side by Side Charter School. Senator Bob Duff will serve as Master of Ceremonies.  Norwalk’s Mayor Harry Rilling, Chief of Police Thomas Kulhawik and Superintendent of Schools Dr. Steven Adamowski will also be attending this special event.

On display will be the remarkable artwork created by the students during their drug prevention classes with their teachers. Highlights of the event include the students’ readings of their drug prevention messages and the Courage to Speak® Presentation for parents and students by Ginger Katz, CEO & Founder of the Courage to Speak® Foundation.

“Bringing students and parents together to talk openly and honestly about the dangers of drugs is the most important goal of the Courage to Speak Empowering Youth to be Drug Free Family Night,” stated Ms. Katz. “By helping our students become outstanding anti-drug advocates and mentors for their friends and younger siblings, we hope to eradicate the problem of drug and alcohol use among young people in CT and across the country.”

Sponsors of the event so far include gold sponsors Cablevision of CT, Norwalk Pizza & Pasta, gWay Marketing Gymnasium, and silver sponsors First Niagara, Webster Bank, First County Bank Foundation, Baywater Properties, Norwalk Police Department, WWE, Wendy Blattman, the Stapleton family, Diageo, the Doyle Family, Abram Heisler, Attorney at Law, and Miklos Koleszar, Attorney at Law, and Stew Leonard’s.  Raffle and food sponsors include Silvermine Golf Club, Smart Cycle, Aitoro Appliances, Continental Manor, Don Carmelo’s, O’Neill’s, B.J. Ryan’s Banc House, Partners Café, Sedona Taphouse, Linda Stubbs, Via Sforza Trattoria, Winfield Street Italian Deli, La Paella, Jimmy’s Deli, Italia, Mish Mosh, Muro’s Original NY Bakery, Costco, Valentino’s Cucina Italiana, and Jordan’s Pizza.

For more information about the event, to become a sponsor and volunteer, visit  (877) 431-3295, email Ginger Katz at


About the Courage to Speak® Foundation:
The Courage To Speak® Foundation, Inc. exists to save lives by empowering youth to be drug free through fostering education and open communication about the dangers of alcohol and other drug use. Ginger Katz founded the nonprofit organization in 1996, just months after her 20 year old son Ian James Eaccarino died of an accidental drug overdose. She and her husband Larry pledged to do everything in their power to help prevent such a tragedy from happening to another family. The Courage to Speak Foundation develops drug prevention programs for elementary (based on Sunny’s Story), middle and high school students as well as for parents through Courage to Speak – Courageous Parenting 101. Ms. Katz has given nearly 1,000 presentations to over a million young people and the adults who care about them. Please visit