WHITE SULPHUR SPRINGS, WV (WOWK) – Some good food, and some good golf… for a good cause!
And a lot of these faces, you might recognize, as West Virginia sports legends came back home to raise money to combat the opioid crisis here.
Legends… like Coach Nick Saban.
“We’re happy to come back to our home state,” he said. “This whole opioid substance misuse is becoming a huge problem and obviously we need a better strategy to try and figure it out.”
And wide receiver for the Cleveland Browns, Ryan Switzer.
“When you see this amount of people, especially people of power and great responsibility, coming together for something like this it’s always good to see,” Switzer said.
This was the first ever Game Changer Golf Classic at the Greenbrier.
The funding from today’s tournament will be used to develop new opioid and substance abuse prevention education for West Virginia kids.
“We’re working hard to get prevention in the schools,” said Bernie Dolan, executive director of the WVSSAC. “And hopefully make a difference moving forward. We know this addiction has wrecked communities and families. And prevention, as well as treatment, are the best ways to get out of this.”
“I think that the awareness that’s being brought, not only to the opioid crisis but mental health as well… breaking stigmas about that is an important step in the right direction,” said Switzer.
“Like what Ryan said you know… to raise awareness and help other people do the same, and grow.. grow from the experience,” said Michael Switzer.
Growing opioid and substance misuse prevention and education here, at home.
A place that means everything to these home grown West Virginians.
“When people I grew up around say things like ‘I really like the way your team plays’ or ‘your dad would be proud if he saw your team play’ that means more to me than just about anything,” said Saban.
“It’s hard to explain if you’re not from here,” said Switzer. “It’s a close knit family. A lot of cities in the US have a higher population than the entire state of West Virginia. So it’s always good to give back and especially for something of this magnitude and of this importance.”