The Ventura Drug Abuse Resistance Education program, known as DARE, is more than $9,000 richer today, thanks to a group of local businesses.
The Newcomers Club on Wednesday presented a check for $9,288.09 to Police Chief Richard Thomas for use in the DARE program. The money was raised at the Newcomers Club's fourth annual dinner and auction held in May. More than 150 Ventura businesses and residents donated items for the auction.
Senior DARE Officer Jim Deck said private donations keep the program running. Only the salaries of the police officers involved in the program are tax-funded.
Deck said $5,000 is needed each year for curriculum materials. Extra funds raised are used for such things as T-shirts, rulers, awards and bumper stickers.
Each year, about 1,300 fifth-graders pass through the DARE program, and since its inception, Deck estimates that more than 6,200 children have gone through the program.