Hundreds of high school students from throughout the region spent much of Wednesday at the city auditorium for the annual regional Students Against Destructive Decisions Conference sponsored by the Maple Valley SADD Chapter.
Cindy Kapaun, who leads the group with husband Brett Kapaun, said the conference, now in its eighth year, took place from about 8:45 a.m. to 2 p.m.
“We would have started earlier, but a bus broke down. We’re kind of the mom and pop of the whole group,” Cindy said.
Brett said students at the conference were split into four groups, and heard about issues including texting and driving and goals.
Cindy said Sarah Besette spoke to students about her journey with drug and alcohol addiction and Mike King of the Northern Cass Chapter of SADD talked with conference-goers about peer pressure and self image.
Cindy said Maple Valley chapter members chose this year’s theme and high school members of the Maple Valley chapter designed the chapter’s t-shirts, which members will wear to the upcoming state conference.
Those attending paid a $10 fee to attend the conference, which included the conference and a meal of chips and sandwiches, Cindy said.
Along with high school-aged members, Cindy said seventh- and eighth-graders were also invited to attend, and many did, coming to Valley City by bus.
The Maple Valley High School is located in Tower City, and includes students from Tower City, Oriska, Buffalo and Fingal, along with some Valley City students attending under open enrollment policies.