Four Maryland D.A.R.E. Officers along with one Police Explorer brought Daren to interact with 2,700 participants, and 70 current and former Ronald McDonald House children.

The Maryland D.A.R.E. Officers Association, along with the Maryland Community Policing Institute bring Daren as one of the mascots to participate in the annual Ronald McDonald House 5K Walk & Run. The Ronald McDonald House Charities in Maryland provides a haven that shelters families and sees them through a period of unthinkable stress when a family is focused on healing their children.

The mascots are an impactful asset to this event. Mascots from various local organizations mingle with the volunteers, children, and families that are staying in the house along with just having fun with all those that participate in the event.

This year there were 2,700 Shufflers, 70 current and former Ronald McDonald House children and families, and 200 Volunteers in attendance.

Each year the MDOA participates in this event with the Maryland Crime Prevention Institute.

This year the Following D.A.R.E. Officers: Holly Kramer and Dan Lane from the Gaithersburg Police Department, Trevin Sherard from the Maryland National Capitol Park Police, and Ann Thacker from the Maryland Community Policing Institute, along with one youth explorer from the Montgomery County Explorer Group volunteered their time to promote the D.A.R.E. program, and have some fun with the attendees and other area mascots.

The D.A.R.E. program teaches students decision-making skills that equip them to lead safe and healthy lives. Lessons include the dangers of drug abuse, how to resist and refuse peer pressure, and how to take a stand against bullying. The D.A.R.E. program is designed to boost students’ social skills, enhance self-esteem, and provide tools to help them make responsible decisions.

D.A.R.E. Officers from the various participating Maryland Law Enforcement Agencies teach the program to more than 11,144 students in 106 schools and community programs during the course of the school year. Funding for the D.A.R.E. program is provided in part by donations from local organizations, fundraising, and grants.

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