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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Press Articles 2010

December 7, 2010

After losing son to overdose, Katz warns of drug dangers

By Mickey Powell

Think your child is not abusing a dangerous substance? Don’t be so sure, and don’t always take his word that he is not, says Ginger Katz.

Click here to read more.

December 6, 2010

Drugs don’t discriminate

Letter: Ginger Katz

I understand there have been several drug-related deaths in your community. I know too well the pain of this loss. On Sept. 10, 1996, I lost my 20-year-old son, Ian, to a drug overdose just before he was going into a rehabilitation program the next day. Ian had used tobacco, alcohol, marijuana and other drugs in high school.

Click here to read more.

November 17, 2010

Bank Recognizes Local Leaders

By Olivia Just

STAMFORD – Bank of America honored five Local Heroes, four Student Leaders and two Neighborhood Builders for their service to the Fairfield County Community at its Neighborhood Excellence Initiative Awards Monday Night.

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August 24, 2010

Wanted: Courageous Parents

By David Marchesseault

Earlier this summer we reported that the North Haven Substance Abuse Prevention Council sent three of its members for intensive training in the latest methods recommended for parents who want to be proactive in dealing with their children and the mounting issues facing youth in today’s society. Of major concern in this community is the expansion of substance abuse by children, even as young as middle school age, possibly earlier. It’s time to sign up.

Click here to read more.

August 15, 2010

Courage to Speak Awarded $500,000

Staff Reports

A local organization dedicated to educating youths and parents about the dangers of drugs received a half-million dollar grant Friday. The U.S. Department of Justice’s Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention awarded the grant to the Courage to Speak Foundation so that the Norwalk-based nonprofit could further expand its educational programs, according to a news release.

Click here to read more.

August 2, 2010

Son’s Overdose Gives Mom Courage

By Felicia Hunter

Norwalk resident Ginger Katz knows what it’s like to lose a child. She lost her son, Ian, to a drug overdose 14 years ago. There was nothing she could do to bring back Ian. But what she could do was try to help other parents and children. One way she attempted to do that was by writing a drug-prevention book for children, “Sunny’s Story,” which tells Ian’s ordeal through the eyes of the family beagle. Another way she channeled her heartbreak was by starting an anti-drug organization, The Courage to Speak Foundation. The work of the foundation recently was recognized with the awarding of two separate grants.

Click here to read more.

August 2, 2010

Grant Aids Courage to Speak Foundation

By Felicia Hunter

A grant that Stamford-headquartered First County Bank Foundation has awarded to the Courage to Speak Foundation will be used to translate drug-prevention materials into Spanish, according to a press release. Ginger Katz founded the Norwalk-based group after her son died of a drug overdose. The ordeal inspired her to write “Sunny’s Story,” a drug-prevention book for children.

Click here to read more.
Click here for The Daily Stamford article

July 25, 2010

By Steve Kobak
Hour Staff Writer

Diehards Run Through the Heat

Calf Pasture Beach holds a bittersweet significance for anti-drug crusader Ginger Katz and the Ian James Eaccarino 9-Mile Memorial Road Race and 5k Health Walk — an event dedicated to her son — seems to bring out the best ones. While waiting for the first runner to cross the finish line Saturday morning in the beach’s parking lot, Katz reminisced about the time she spent running at the beach and visiting her son, who worked at Calf Pasture.

Click here to read more.

July 9, 2010

Shoreline Plus – July 9,2010

First County Bank Foundation awards $44,620 in grants to Norwalk nonprofits

In its continuing mission to give back to the communities of lower Fairfield County, the First County Bank Foundation recently announced the distribution of $44,620 in grants to Norwalk-based nonprofits devoted to helping children and families cope with unemployment, housing and child safety.   Established in 2001 in honor of the bank’s 150th anniversary, the First County Bank Foundation was created to distribute funds annually to nonprofit organizations that support community and economic development for children and families.

Click here to read more.

June 21, 2010

The Chamber Report – June 2010

Speaking out by Moving: Courage to Speak Holds Run/Walk

The 12th Annual Ian James Eaccarino Memorial 9-Mile Race and 5K Health Walk run by the Courage to Speak Foundation will take place on Saturday, July 24, 2010 starting at 8:00 am at Calf Pasture Beach in Norwalk. Ian worked at Calf Pasture Beach the summer before he died and the race is dedicated to his memory. Last year, over 450 runners participated in this extraordinary community event that underscores the importance of passion, commitment and a healthy drug-free lifestyle.

Click here to read more.

May 10, 2010

Winner: Nonprofit Advocate of the Year

Ginger Katz, The Courage to Speak Foundation Inc.
Educating students about drug abuse and saving young lives

“Silence is a killer when it comes to children and drug abuse,” said Ginger Katz, founder and CEO of The Courage to Speak Foundation. “If we don’t speak about this problem we’re not going to have solutions. And if we don’t have solutions, children will die.” Katz knows this heartache. She and her husband Larry lost their 20-year-old son, Ian, in 1996 to a drug overdose. From that moment, their lives changed forever.

Click here to read more.
Click here to the Editors Notes.
Click here to an Invitation.

April 07, 2010

Drug prevention program in Bridgeport schools gets grant

The Courage to Speak Foundation has received a $14,000 grant from an anonymous donor through the Fairfield County Community Foundation to continue its work in the Bridgeport public school system.

The funding, given for the second consecutive year, will support the implementation of the Courage to Speak drug prevention curriculum for grades four through seven in eight Bridgeport schools.

Click here to read more.

March 26, 2010

A hero among us

Editor’s Notebook

Even though I have gotten to know Ginger Katz over the last couple of years through her work with the Courage to Speak Foundation, I had actually never heard her Courage to Speak presentation until last Thursday evening at the sixth annual Courage To Speak Empowering Youth to Be Drug-Free Family Night.

Ginger shared her pain of watching drugs take her child’s life and the heartbreak that followed–and still continues.

I don’t know where she finds the strength and fortitude to tell that story over and over again, but like Mayor Richard Moccia and Police Chief Harry Rilling, I am glad she does. Because in listening to the 13 student speakers read their thank you essays to Ginger, I believe her message is helping these kids reach out to people they trust when they are in a compromising situation, and that despite peer pressure, some of these kids will continue to develop ways to resist drugs.

Click here to read more.

March 25, 2010

Katz recognized as friend of education at Family Night

By Nicole Rivard

Last Thursday evening at the sixth annual Courage To Speak Empowering Youth to Be Drug-Free Family Night, Ginger Katz was speechless. Those who know Katz, founder and CEO of the Courage to Speak Foundation in Norwalk, know that’s a rare thing.

Katz was moved to silence when she got up to accept the 2010 Distinguished Friend of Education Award from the Connecticut Association of Schools, the highest award given by the association.

Click here to read more.

March 23, 2010

Kids Vow to be Drug-Free

by Moina Noor

Genesis, 12, made a vow to be drug-free Thursday night in front of 200 people at West Rocks Middle School. Seventeen other Norwalk elementary and middle school students joined Genesis on stage, as part of the sixth annual “Empowering Youth to be Drug Free” family night sponsored by the Courage to Speak Foundation. “I learned how bad drugs are and that something really horrible can happen if you take them,” said Genesis.  “”My parents have never taken drugs and I look up to them.”

Click here to read more.

March 13, 2010

Courage to Speak’s family night slated March 16

The 6th Annual Courage To Speak Empowering Youth to Be Drug Free Family Night will take place on Tuesday at 5:30 p.m., at West Rocks Middle School, 81 West Rocks Road, in Norwalk (snow date: March 18).

All are invited to the event, which will bring families, educators, and community leaders together to affirm their commitment to keeping our children safe from drugs. Dinner is included.

Click here to read more.

March 13, 2010

By Chase Wright
Hour Staff Writer

Family Night will focus on teen alcohol abuse

After a decade of declines, a new national study shows teens are more likely to abuse drugs they often encounter at parties and other social gatherings. The topic is sure to be of discussion at The Courage to Speak Foundation’s sixth annual Family Night, being held Tuesday, March 16.

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March 3, 2010

By Terri Yannetti

Katz aims to educate parents about drugs

MILFORD – When Ginger Katz lost her 20-year-old son Ian to a heroin overdose in 1996, she made it her mission to spare other families such heartache.

“The number one key to preventing substance abuse is for parents to talk to their children about the dangers of drugs,” said Katz. “But only one in three parents do this,” she said. “Parents have a lot of power and they need to use it.”

Katz established the Courage to Speak Foundation, Inc., to foster open communication about the prevention of drug and alcohol abuse and she developed the Courageous Parenting 101 program to give parents the tools to keep their children safe.

Click here to read more.

January 14, 2010

By Pam Johnson
Shore Publishing

Addiction Kills Kids: Son’s Death Gives Mom “Courage to Speak”

On Thursday, Jan. 28, Ginger Katz of Norwalk, founder of The Courage to Speak Foundation, will be here to discuss how failure to communicate the dangers of drug- and alcohol abuse aided and abetted the loss of her son’s young life. The free talk is sponsored by Guilford Youth & Family Services (GYFS) and takes place at 7 p.m. in the Guilford Free Library.

Click here to read more.