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Group commended for speaking out about ecstasy use

(From left) Drew Fournier, Kali Desjardins, Lauren Miller and Shawna McCormack accept their police board commendations from Mayor Bruce Banman and Police Chief Bob Rich.                          - Vikki Hopes
(From left) Drew Fournier, Kali Desjardins, Lauren Miller and Shawna McCormack accept their police board commendations from Mayor Bruce Banman and Police Chief Bob Rich.
— image credit: Vikki Hopes

Four Abbotsford women received an Abbotsford Police Board commendation on Tuesday for their role in raising awareness about the dangers of the drug ecstasy.

Shawna McCormack, Drew Fournier, Kali Desjardins and Lauren Miller all participated in the filming of an Abbotsford Police documentary called "Operation X – The Straight Goods on E."

The four also spoke at school presentations where the film was shown in the aftermath of the 2011 ecstasy-related deaths of two Abbotsford youths – Cheryl McCormack, 17, and Tyler Miller, 20.

Shawna is Cheryl's sister, and the other three women were her close friends.

Operation X was developed to prevent further deaths and to educate young people about the dangers of ecstasy use.

In presenting the commendations, Police Chief Bob Rich said the film, which until now has been shown only in Abbotsford, has been endorsed by the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police for distribution across Canada.

He said parts of the documentary are currently being re-filmed to make it more applicable to a national audience.

Mayor Bruce Banman thanked the group for "sparing someone else from the pain" and for their commitment "in helping young people understand the dangers and consequences of ecstasy in such a meaningful way."

"By sharing your experiences and grief, you showed remarkable strength, courage and commitment not only to your community, but to the memory of Cheryl," Banman said.

 

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