FAN community meeting chooses Board of Directors 1-12-17

Joseph V. Sowmick - January 17, 2017

Team Observer was on site January 12 at Tribal Operations for a Families Against Narcotics (FAN) meeting where over a hundred people packed into the Seniors Room to discuss addiction in our community.  Saginaw Chippewa Tribal Court Judge Patrick Shannon thanked Tribal Chaplain Diana Quigno-Grundahl for opening the meeting with prayer and the Anishinaabe Ogitchedaw Veterans Warrior Society for bringing in the Saginaw Chippewa Eagle Staff and the SCIT Tribal flag.


Saginaw Chippewa Tribal Council members Candace Benzinger, Amanda Oldman, Kenneth Sprague and Timothy Davis shared their experience and testimonies about dealing with addiction and several videos were shown that highlighted the efforts of FAN.


Tears, frustration and emotion led to action as a Board of Directors for the SCIT/Mid-Michigan Chapter of FAN was selected as Guadalupe Gonzalez was chosen to serve as president.

“I think the number of people that came to the meeting last night showed loud and clear that our community is ready to begin healing and to take a stand against the opiate abuse that has been plaguing our community, Gonzalez said. “There was a very positive and humbling feeling throughout the entire presentation.  I am honored to be a part of this movement and will do my part to help continue this momentum.“

Several administrative staff and health providers from Behavioral Health and Nimkee Clinic also attended as Dr. Deborah Eisenmann said she is interested in assisting when and wherever possible.

“I believe input from medical providers in the area would be welcome from what I see of the other efforts of FAN chapters across Michigan. A community led effort to address addiction is critical, with emphasis especially needed on working with the children and youth of the community to prevent addiction from occurring,” Eisenmann said. “Once established in an area, addiction to narcotics is very difficult to treat. The key is prevention which requires the whole community to come together with that purpose in mind.”

The Board of director selected to serve in the SCIT/Mid-Michigan Chapter of Families Against Narcotics (FAN) are:


FAN Board of Directors

President – Guadalupe Gonzalez

Vice President – Marcella Hadden

Treasurer – Shawn Sawmick

Secretary – Rosanna Martin

Board Member Joyce Luther

Board Member Janis Ash

Board Member Natasha House

Board Member Cecelia Stevens


FAN Board of Directors Alternates

Candace Benzinger

Michael McCreery

Marion Mena

Gary Bennett

Mary Bentley


If you would like to serve on the Advisory Board or be on the contact list to take part in upcoming family forums, focus groups or talking circles, please contact one of the FAN Board members for more information.

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