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Biggest and Best Horsetooth Swim Ever!

by Gordon Coombes


Not bad for a 20th Anniversary. Yes this was 20th year of the Horsetooth Open Water Swim. This year, over 350 swimmers competed at various distances. The 10 Kilometer race was sold out with 85 competitors swimming the length of Horsetooth Reservoir, from the North end at Satanka Bay to the South end at South Beach. This year was especially exciting as three of the top 5 finishers were women. First place overall and in the Men’s Division was Jan Daniec from Poland with a time of 2:22:02. Second Place overall and first place in the women’s division was Kathleen West from Fort Collins with a time of 2:26:07. The Horsetooth Swim planning committee is especially proud of our own Ann Donoghue and George Thornton who supplied clean up duty at the back of the 10K pack. Not bad as Ann at age 57 was the oldest female competitor and George at an astonishing 78 was the oldest male competitor.

This year also marked the second year in a Horsetooth Swim hosted a 2.4 Collegiate competition. Four women’s team, University of Northern Colorado, Colorado State University, Air Force Academy and Adams State, made the trek to Horsetooth Reservoir to compete in the women’s division. First place went to UNC swimmer Petra Kis with at time of 51:27. Just two seconds behind Petra, was CSU swimmer Abbey Owenby with a time of 51:29. In Third place was Grace Siebmann from CSU. University of Northern Colorado won First Place in the Team competition.

On the Men’s side. Air Force Academy fielded the only men’s team for the second year. In first place was Adam Grim with a time of 51:02. Second was Peter Lochmaier with a time of 51:08 and one second behind Peter was Wyatt Foote to take third. Hopefully next year Air Force will get some competition.

The photos from the Horsetooth Open Water Swim Event 2018 are ready to view! To view the gallery, go to Select the client login link. Use the password, horsetooth2018 (case sensitive, no caps). If you would like to purchase any photos for yourself, friends, or family, downloads are available for $10 per photo. Beautiful prints and other print products are also available, and ship right to your door. If you have any questions, please contact Lisa Doane Photography at

Thank you to all the swimmers who came out for this unique endurance event. Also, thank you to our sponsors. Especially our 10K Title Sponsor Budweiser.

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Other sponsors include:



Positive youth Development at TEAM

by Adam Musielewicz- Coalition Director

Positive Youth Development (PYD) is a cornerstone of Team's programs and community efforts. The evidence-based approach, in a nutshell, guides community members on how to best engage and include youth in decisions that will affect them and their peers. Whether in a respective nonprofit organization, a school, or a city government, engaging youth in how best to implement strategies that support youth development is fundamental. 

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In this vein, Team's Southern Larimer Prevention Partnership (SLPP) partners with both the Loveland and Berthoud Youth Advisory Commissions (YAC) to help guide and inform coalition strategies. In this month of September, both YAC's will be trained in PYD by our Statewide partner Rise Above Colorado. Come November, the YAC members will help lead discussions with Loveland/Berthould community members on the issues that matter them most in a PYD training available to all community members. Look for more news about the SLPP coalition providing community engagement training in the future. 


For more information about PYD, click here: PYD INFO


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Impaired Driving Data from Larimer County

By Sarah Allison- Evaluation Director

As a substance abuse prevention organization, we work closely with many local organizations and state agencies in our day-to-day work. Lately, this collaboration has taken on a strong data focus as we move forward with our DUI/DWAI Larimer County Needs Assessment. Law Enforcement agencies have been a tremendous asset to our efforts to explore the risk factors for DUI/DWAI locally and this month we are happy to share a sneak peek into some of the key demographic information this law enforcement data has revealed.

According to Colorado State Patrol records, the majority of DUI/DWAI arrests in Larimer County from 2016-2017 involved individuals aged 25-34. The number of arrests in this age group is double the number of 18-24 year olds arrested. Additionally, 73.9% of those arrested are males and 83.4% are white.

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According to Larimer County Sheriff’s Office records, the majority of DUI/DWAI violations are for alcohol consumption. However, after discussion with DUI enforcement officers, it is recognized that identifying someone under the influence of alcohol is far more straightforward then identifying someone under the influence of marijuana and other drugs. Additionally, many marijuana and drug users are also under the influence of alcohol which is the most straight-forward identifier for a DUI/DWAI arrest. Therefore, the number of arrests marked as drug-related may be artificially low.

Within this data set, we also see that alcohol arrests show a cleared pattern over the course of the year. When looking at the number of arrests for alcohol and drugs from 2016-2017 month-to-month we see spikes in alcohol arrests from September to November annually. This is consistent with increased enforcement as students return to the local college campuses.

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This is a small sneak peek of some of the key data that we have been able to access to inform our programming over the next several years. Our full needs assessment will be completed soon and we look forward to sharing our results with the Larimer County community.



Programming for prevention

Oh The Places We'll Go! 

By Meg Rohde- Program Specialist


Schools back! Or is it, schools back?!  Either way, Fort Collins has returned to the school zone speed limits and teen-packed lunchtime haunts.  This year our youth programming is already slated to serve more than 90 local youth in semester long programming and hundreds more through school and community presentations.  Team is refreshed and ready for the new school year!

This past spring, Team and Opportunities Unlimited partnered together to bring Define Youth and Youth Empowered Yoga to it’s 20 alternative high school students.  This fall I will be returning to work with a new cohort of Opportunities Unlimited students!  With the new school year come some new changes to the program that I am excited to try out. 

During graduate school I focused my research on “personally meaningful activities” in adolescence.  In other words, I looked at the connection between youth who were involved in activities they cared about and their overall success and well-being.  As it turns out, youth who are engaged and interested in positive activities have more successful personal relationships, positive self-image, and engage in fewer risk seeking behaviors. 

Now, I am working to bring those positive activities to the youth I work with in our Define Youth program.  This fall, for every hour of Define Youth programming, the students at Opportunities will also attend an hour of experiential learning on alternative healthy activities in the community.  Our field trips will include boxing, roller derby, yoga, parkour, and disc golf to name a few.  I am beyond excited to hopefully connect these students to a few of the great activities our city has to offer and will be sure to include an update here on how this pilot program turns out! 


Parenting Partnerships

Your Life on BrainWise: Part 6

By Jane Wilson- Parent Engagement Specialist

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Learning to control your emotions can be one of the best skills you will ever develop in life – last month we learned to think of our emotions as an elevator in a ten-story building. Intense, out of control emotions are on the top floors and calm, easy to control emotions are on the lower floors. If our emotions rise, we can use strategies to Exit the Emotions Elevator.

After learning the difference between our Wizard and Lizard Brain, acknowledging our Constellation of Support, recognizing our Red Flag Warnings, and learning strategies to Exit the Emotions Elevator, BrainWise leads us to Separating Fact from Opinion.

Confusing opinion with fact is the source of many problems. It is very easy to have opinions and make assumptions, especially when they are grounded in emotions. We know that inaccurate opinions expressed to others can be a source of great pain and sadness for many people. For example, gossip fuels the emotions elevator, contributes to Lizard Brain thinking, and creates more problems.

Another contributing factor is our bias – and we all have one. A bias is an opinion or attitude we have for or against something. It usually stems from our feelings and emotions rather than our Wizard Brain. People commonly have different views on what they think is happening. This is why we have so many different opinions. However, people generally agree on the facts and what was proven to have happened.

Teaching young children the difference between fact and opinion can be challenging, but introducing the concept early on helps students continue to develop critical thinking processes that underlie positive decision-making. When separating fact from opinion – whether it is gossip at the office or news reports on media outlets – we must learn how to overcome our emotions and the Lizard Brain instinct that causes us to react impulsively.

For more information on Engaging Families and the BrainWise program, email


RAR News

Over service of alcohol VIP’s in Colorado Becoming a Problem

By Nathan Dewe- RAR Program Specialist


In last month’s RAR article, we covered the topic of Dram Shop Liability and the “Over Service of Alcohol to Patrons” (known as “VIP’s” – Visibly Intoxicated Person’s) in our local establishments. Due to this past article, I have had a number of readers, and RAR members, ask me to go more into what constitutes someone being classified as a VIP.  We need to remember that a person is classified as a VIP when the over service of alcohol occurs and a person has become too intoxicated to consume any more alcohol or it would be considered dangerous to their personal safety.  Another point to remember, in the difficult situation of serving a VIP, is that when law enforcement see’s a VIP being served more drinks, or see’s a very drunk patron outside of the bar, they can assess the situation and determine if the over service has occurred and ultimately is up to the discretion of the officer.  This means that you might not think you are serving a person considered to be a VIP, but the officer might. Therefore, you must remain as vigilant as possible in your service of alcohol, and use all the knowledge and skills you have from RAR and your TiPS training.

In order to answer many of the questions, and comments, that were put forth to me, I have decided to provide a list of some of the advice/things that we follow, as RAR members, so that we can be better prepared:

Visibly Intoxicated Persons “VIP”

  1. Serving alcohol to a visibly intoxicated person (VIP) is against the law.

  2. The person is visibly intoxicated (VIP) If you can tell on sight that the person has been drinking or using other drugs.

  3. Servers are not expected to know a customer’s blood alcohol content (BAC), but they are required to recognize visible intoxication in a person.

  4. Remember to use your “Behavioral Ques” to recognize the common signs of visible intoxication.

a)      Lowered Inhibitions: Talkative, Displaying loud behavior or mood swings

b)      Poor Judgment: Inappropriate Behavior, Foul Language, Over-Friendly, Increased Rate of Drinking,

c)      Slowed Reactions (Minor Motor Skills) Glassy Unfocused Eyes, Slurred Speech

d)      Loss of Coordination (Major Motor Skills) Stumbling, Swaying, Dropping Belongings 

5. These are not all of the possible signs. If a person shows just one or two of these signs that does not necessarily mean the person is intoxicated. But if a person shows a combination of several signs, or has a sudden change in behavior, that could be a strong indication that the person is intoxicated.

6. Remember that intoxication can result from the use of drugs other than alcohol.

7. If you're not sure, don't serve!!!


If you have any further questions about this topic , please feel free to contact me at I would be more than happy to discuss this further with you. Remember, you are legally responsible for those you serve alcohol. This responsibility goes beyond just getting them a safe ride home, we also need to make sure we are consuming responsibly and if we have overconsumed we know what to do.





The Changing Tide of Prevention- A Four Part Series About the Evolution Drug Prevention Strategy-

Part 3 Risk and Protective Factors?

By Gordon Coombes- Executive Director


So what is all this shared risk and protective factor stuff? Modern research tells us that there are many factors that influence a person’s chances of developing a mental health or substance use disorder. Effective prevention strategy focuses on reducing risk factors and strengthening protective factors that impact mental health and substance use disorder. Coincidentally, these risk factors and protective factors happen to also be closely tied to other risky youth activities such as delinquency, violence, teen pregnancy, and other risky behaviors.

According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, risk factors are characteristics at the biological, psychological, family, community, or cultural level that precede and are associated with a higher likelihood of negative outcomes. Protective factors are characteristics associated with a lower likelihood of negative outcomes or that reduce a risk factor’s impact. Protective factors may be seen as positive countering events.

We know that some risk factors are fixed and don’t change over time, while others are variable and can be changed. Fixed risk factors include a person’s genetic predisposition to addiction or exposure to alcohol or other substances prior to birth. Variable risk factors include income levels, peer groups, adverse childhood experiences (trauma), and employment status.

We know that these factors exist in a variety of setting in a young person’s life including their relationships, their community and in society. Some examples of these factors are below:

  • Relationships- Risk factors include parents who use drugs and/or alcohol or who suffer from mental illness, child abuse, maltreatment, and inadequate supervision. Parental involvement is an example of a protective factor.

  • Community- Risk factors include neighborhood poverty and violence. Here, protective factors could include the availability of faith-based resources and after-school activities.

  • Society- Risk factors can include norms and laws favorable to substance use, as well as racism and a lack of economic opportunity. Protective factors in this context would include hate crime laws or policies limiting the availability of alcohol.

We also understand that there is a correlation between greater risk factors and decreased protective factors. Therefore, the more risk factors there are in a child’s life, the less likely they are to have protective factors. We also understand that risk and protective factors have a cumulative effect on youth development or the lack of development. Youth with multiple risk factors have a greater likelihood of behavior of conditions that negatively impact physical or mental health and youth with multiple protective factors have a reduced risk.

How does this change how we do substance abuse prevention in our modern society?  Today instead of teaching youth about various substances we, as prevention professionals, we prioritize the risk and protective factors that are most at work in our community. We design and evaluate interventions that will best impact those factors. We understand the importance of early interventions and interventions that target multiple factors. We will dig into examples of these types of interventions in the next month in Part 4 of this series.


Upcoming TEAM Events

Keep up to date on what events are happening at TEAM Wellness & Prevention. This section provides information about events and programs that are open to the general population and afford the community a chance to get involve with all things TEAM.  


YES! for Mental Health Rally at The Green Room

Learn about the Mental Health Matters initiative that will be on the ballot in November and RALLY to support it. Thursday Sept. 20, 2018 from 6 to 8 PM. At the Green Room located at 344 E. Mountain Ave in Fort Collins.

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RAR Hopping at Wing Shack

RAR Hopping events are a chance to highlight our responsible members and raise awareness about our program’s impact on the community. As a way of celebrating our members’ great work RAR Hopping events feature activities such as bingo, trivia, game nights, prize give-aways and more.

Join us September 25 at Wing Shack!

Simply Talented- Call for Auditions

Simply Talented is an event that showcases the talents of young performers in music, dance and drama. The event is open to teens (or sixth grade to twelve grade contestants) in all of Larimer County. It is a talent contest and talent show, and it provides an opportunity for young people to pursue their dreams.