Colby Rasmus speaks at Too Good for Drugs celebration

By Denise DuBois 

A very special guest was on site Friday as fifth grade students from West Smiths Station Elementary School filled the seats of the Smiths Station Junior High auditorium for the final presentation of “Too Good for Drugs” Week. 

They chanted, “Don’t do drugs” and talked about reasons why they should stay away from drugs, alcohol and violence. 

Major League Baseball player Colby Rasmus, who recently went to the Tampa Bay Rays, took the stage to talk to the students about making good decisions that extended beyond the “Too Good for Drugs” program. Rasmus talked about making good life decisions and what it means to be a responsible adult who is thankful to God for the things he has. He also challenged students to think ahead about the lives they want to live one day and make good decisions now that will help them in the future.

“Let’s try to think about now, while you still have beautiful lives in front of you, to think about your future wives and husbands and kids. Think about how you can raise them up in a better life,” he said. “Do good by your teachers and just be good kids. When mom and dad ask us to take out the trash, let’s take out the trash.”

Rasmus talked about his time playing baseball and how his decisions and work ethic allow him to have nice things now. 

“I don’t say this stuff to toot my own horn, but it’s so you understand if you want to live a nice lifestyle and have nice things, you have to make good decisions. I made the decision at a young age to make the best decisions and not let other kids influence me. I worked as hard as I could. My dad’s goal was to help us be the best kids we could be and live up to our potential. Everybody in this room has potential to do something great and live an awesome lifestyle and not have to depend on anybody else,” he continued. 

Lee County Sheriff Jay Jones and his deputies were on site to talk to students and congratulate them for taking a drug-free pledge. The students got the opportunity to walk across the stage and accept a certificate and medal for being drug-free. 

“‘Too Good for Drugs’ shares authentic insight from police officers into the dangers one can face when the wrong choices are made,” said WSSES principal Bonnie Short. “The lessons deal with issues that students are likely to face in the near future, and how they can avoid being negatively influenced. One of the things I tell our students regularly is to hang out with people who make you better, and it re-emphasizes the power of that advice.”

“Too Good for Drugs” replaced the D.A.R.E. program several years ago. The school does activities during a seven-week-long celebration of prevention education. All Lee County schools participate in “Too Good for Drugs.”