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Fremont County Boys and Girls Club gets $500,000 from opioid settlement

Posted at 7:07 PM, Mar 16, 2023

FREMONT COUNTY — Fremont County Boys and Girls Club will be getting $500 thousand from the national opioid settlement.

Opioid manufacturers and distributors are paying $26 billion to settle the suit filed by multiple states.

Colorado's portion is just over $700 million.

The money going to Fremont County Boys and Girls Club is among the first half dozen grants approved by the Colorado Opioid Abatement Council (COAC).

“Serving the kids within the community that I live; it is one of the best feelings to be a part of,” said Boys and Girls Club Mentor Director, Bernie Topash.

He is nearing ten years of working with kids at the club.

The facility is a fun place for kids to be during their off time.

It is also meant as a place of protection.

“A place that they can go to that it's safe, we know that they're being taken care of,” said Topash.

Leaders at the club also want the best for kids when they are out in the community.

It is why they are very aware of opioid issues in the community.

Fremont County ranks in the top ten of Colorado counties for opioid deaths.

“It does make the radar go up. It does make us want to further provide a safe environment for these kids,” Club Administrative Director, Angelica Rivera, “We don't want them going on to the street and finding out this information. We want them coming to reliable sources and finding out information before they experience it.”

Now, with the $500 thousand grant from the opioid settlement the club will expand its facilities and programs.

It will make way for more kids, spending more time at the club where they can be exposed to mentors and positive activities.

“That is a part of trying to mitigate what they could be doing instead, being someplace else where they can get into trouble get into situations that they don't want to ever really be in,” said Topash.

The result can prevent drug use issues before they start.

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