Reality Tour seeking volunteers

A reorganizational meeting for all volunteers interested in helping with this year's Reality Tour, a drug prevention and awareness program, will be held Monday at 6 p.m. at the Elk County Courthouse Annex in Ridgway.Reality Tour Co-Directors Cindy Cortinovis and Val Weis said both youth and adult volunteers are welcome to attend the meeting. Youth volunteers are eligible for service hours in assisting with the tours."I appreciate everyone's effort to help keep this program going. Without volunteers we will not be successful," said Cortinovis. This year's tour dates are set for Feb. 21, March 21, April 18, May 16, Sept. 19, Oct. 17 and Nov. 21. Attendees should plan to arrive at the Courthouse Annex at 5:50 p.m., as tours begin promptly at 6 p.m. and last approximately three hours.The Reality Tour is a drug prevention and awareness program featuring an intimate journey which follows the life of a teen addicted to heroin. The innovative program was created in 2003 by Norma Norris, executive director of Candle Inc. of Butler, who directly operates The Reality Tour. This is the fifth year the program has been offered in Elk County. The tours are sponsored through the Elk County Drug and Alcohol Consortium, of which Cortinovis is the president and Weis is the treasurer. The Reality Tour addresses the grim truth of addiction by offering doses of reality as the audience experiences firsthand dramatic scenes in the three-hour program, including the teen's first buy, an arrest and jail scene and an ER trauma and funeral scene. For more on this story, see the Jan. 14 edition of The Daily Press.