Fundraiser to help fight substance abuse in Oklahoma
Fighting Addiction Through Education, or FATE, will hold a fundraising dinner on Oct. 25. FATE tries to reduce substance abuse in Oklahoma.
Substance abuse costs all Oklahomans, not just addicts and their families.
“About $7 billion a year is spent in Oklahoma dealing with the fallout from substance abuse issues,” said Jim Priest, executive director of Fighting Addiction Through Education, Inc. “It affects our economy; it ruins people's lives, and of course it's a killer.
“Hundreds of thousands of people (worldwide) every year, maybe even millions, are killed as a result of it.”
The nonprofit, commonly referred to as FATE, seeks to educate people about the consequences of drug and alcohol abuse, often teaming with famous athletes to reach out to school groups. Former Sooners standout and NFL star Roy Williams, for example, provides a video welcome to visitors to FATE's website.
“Since its inception,” Priest said, “FATE has been a free program to community groups, high schools, grade schools, on up through universities. We don't charge the schools or groups to come out and talk about the substance abuse problem we have in Oklahoma.”
The nonprofit, he said, relies solely on donations. A couple generous benefactors have borne the bulk of the financial burden, but now FATE needs additional help to carry on its work.
The nonprofit is holding its first fundraising “Champions of FATE” dinner on Thursday, Oct. 25. The dinner will be hosted by Williams and former Oklahoma State University quarterback Aso Pogi, who is now a youth minister in the Lawton area.
“We're going to have a great event,” Priest said. “We're going to honor some folks who have done what we hope others will do, which is reach out to help people.”