In 2012, an idea of creating something that could help teach our local youth to choose to live a drug free, alcohol free, safe and healthy lifestyle was just an idea. However, with the determination of a small group of volunteers, that idea turned into a great program that has been going strong for eight years. Watertown DASH has made a difference in the lives of local youth and their families. We have helped them reach new accomplishments and make memories that will last a lifetime. We look forward to another great year in 2020.
Watertown DASH is an acronym for Drug Free, Alcohol Free, Safe & Healthy and the mission is “To challenge community partnerships to lead by example and to empower Watertown youth to choose to live healthy and positive lifestyles”. Kids learn by the examples and expectations set for them. On a national level, a social norm of “kids will be kids” has developed when it comes to alcohol and drug use, as if it is a “rite of passage”. As a community, we need to focus on changing that social norm and look at what we can do to protect the health and safety of our youth. The Watertown Police Department, along with community partners like the Watertown Healthy Youth Coalition, are working to stop this trend. We are reaching out to local businesses and community members to help us raise the bar for youth and empower them to make safe and healthy choices.
We have had some great supporters of Watertown DASH over the years. We wouldn’t have been able to keep the program going without their support. Their generosity has been greatly appreciated. To see the community care about the local youth of Watertown is heartwarming and inspiring. Some supporters have donated money or gift cards, some have donated food or beverages for our events, some have donated door prizes to give away at our events and some have just been there since the very beginning by volunteering at our events. In 2020, Watertown DASH will continue to provide safe and healthy family events. Being present in children’s lives plays a huge factor. If you haven't had a chance to look at the Watertown DASH Facebook page, we strongly suggest that you do and just look at the photos from our events. To see the smiles and accomplished looks on everyone’s faces makes it a noble and worthwhile cause. Please consider supporting Watertown DASH in 2020!
In the past 8 years, Watertown DASH has hosted or sponsored approximately 70 events, awarded 8 Watertown High School students with a $500 scholarship, has had over 5,000 total participants attend the events, and awarded participants with approximately 2,000 medals!
Watertown DASH has hosted or sponsored events such as the DASH Freedom Run 5K/Walk, Watertown Area Kids Fun Run, DASH $500 Scholarship for a graduating senior at the Watertown High School, Turkey DASH 5K/Walk, Color DASH, Spring into Action 5K/Walk, Teen Police Academy, FOP Kids Triathlon and we support the DARE program at all the local schools and host a year end party for all the 5th grade graduates.
No greater good can be done than helping a child live a safe and healthy life. Watertown DASH is 100% funded by community partners. Your financial support will help countless children in our community. Please help us continue Watertown DASH by providing financial support, donations of food or beverages, door prizes for our events, or become a volunteer. Your business or organization will be recognized for your support on our PD website, Facebook page and our event shirts.
Please contact us at 605-882-5238 if you have any questions or would like to hear more about the program. You can also “like” us on Facebook at Watertown DASH and check us out on the PD website under programs at www.watertownpd.com. Please mail donations to the Watertown Police Department-Attn: Michelle-128 N Maple-Watertown, SD 57201.