LITCHFIELD >> Schools and community groups across the United States will be “Going Purple,” JANUARY 23-27, 2017. These dates align with National Drugs and Alcohol Week, which is sponsored by The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) and the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA).

A nationally recognized substance abuse campaign, Project Purple is an initiative of The Herren Project, a non-profit foundation established by Chris Herren, former NBA basketball player, motivational speaker, author and sobriety advocate. The goals of the Project Purple initiative are to create awareness and educate the public on the epidemic of substance abuse while encouraging teens and people of all ages to make positive decisions and build self-esteem in order to stand up to drugs and alcohol.

In December of 2014, Chris Herren visited Litchfield and gave two powerful presentations: one to the high school students and another to the community at large. His message about the dangers of drug and alcohol abuse, the importance of placing value on our own self worth, and being good decision-makers was moving for those who attended. A group of students at Litchfield High School have formed their own Project Purple group to promote the initiative. Their mission is “to build self-esteem and to support individuality in not only students but also others in the community.”

For the third consecutive year, the town of Litchfield and Litchfield High School will recognize, and take part in, Project Purple Week from January 23-January 27—joining in the ranks of schools across the nation. LHS’s “Go Purple” kick off will launch during the Boys’ (home) Basketball game with Gilbert on Friday, January 20th. The Junior Varsity game begins at 5:30pm, followed by a Varsity game at 7:00pm. The following week, January 27th, the Girls’ (home) Basketball game against Housatonic will also be a “Purple” event. Junior Varsity begins at 5:30pm, followed by a Varsity game at 7:00pm. All who attend these games are encouraged to wear purple to show their support for the Project Purple initiative and for LHS’s Project Purple mission. In addition, students, faculty and staff are invited to wear purple on the two aforementioned games days.

The community is cordially invited to support the Project Purple movement by displaying purple items (decals, ribbons, etc.) for the remainder of January (or beyond) in homes, businesses and establishments. Please email the Litchfield Prevention Council if you’d like to be provided with these items: Together we can make a difference, celebrating life and supporting one another as we fight against substance abuse.