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Congratulations to Jared Toenjes for winning the Wisconsin statewide Drug Abuse Resistance Education (DARE) essay contest last May. DARE Officer Steve Albarado chose Toenjes' essay out of many and submitted it to the state competition, where he won first place. Toenjes and Albarado were recognized at the Ellsworth School Board meeting on Oct. 8 for this accomplishment. -- Photo submitted

Jared Toenjes from the Ellsworth Middle School won the Wisconsin statewide D.A.R.E. essay contest last May. The following is the award winner:

I learned a lot in D.A.R.E. this year with Mr. Albarado. I learned not to do drugs because they can ruin your life. That you won't be able to breathe as well and they mess up your mind. They also hurt your body, and make you ugly. So really there is no sense in doing drugs. I also learned not to hang out with people that are bad or do drugs. If you hang out with trouble you're going to get into trouble. Those are some of the things I learned in D.A.R.E.

I want to be drug free because I like doing good in sports. If I do drugs in wrestling I would probably be suspended and wouldn't make it through practice. I would probably be suspended and wouldn't make it through practice. It would badly slow me down in football too. I probably wouldn't be able to concentrate on what I was suppose to be doing. It could also make me not want to try very hard and maybe even quit all together. It would ruin all the goals that I have for myself.

I also don't want to turn out like my oldest half-brother. Right now he is 25 and in prison because of drugs. If he didn't do drugs he would never do the stuff he did to get in there. He did that stuff because drugs took over his mind and body. His name is David and he has been in and out of county jails and detentions centers since he was 17 years old. The judges kept on telling him that if he was arrested one more time he would be going to prison. They gave him a lot of chances. I think the drugs made him not think straight and one day he was arrested for burglary. He would steal stuff to get money to buy drugs. The judge had enough and locked him up in prison for five and a half years. He has a little over a year left of his prison sentence. I have not been able to see him at all. We have talked on the phone a few times. I feel bad for him and I worry what it will be like when he gets out. I wish he would not have messed up his whole life.

I learned how medicines hurt your body too. Medicines are drugs but not bad all the time. If you need the medicines you can take them, but only how much it tells you to take. If you overdose it is bad for you and can hurt your body. If you don't need the medicines they can get addictive and if you take a lot of it, it is most likely to kill you. If you get an Rx drug DO NOT SHARE IT! They can really injure whoever you share it with. Over the counter drugs are ok to share but only if the person needs it.

I pledge to be drug free because I do not want to turn out like my oldest brother. Having someone in your family that does drugs not only hurts them, it hurts everyone in the family. I have seen how hurt my Dad is of how David made the wrong choices and I don't ever want to make him feel that bad ever again. I promise never ever to do drugs.

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