IABH & OS Staff Update
Greetings!
IABH staff has been busy the past few months transiting into new roles and are very excited to work with Operation Snowball! Ron Jakubisin is no longer with IABH/OS and Ashley Webb and Riley Blythe will oversee Operation Snowball.

Ashley Webb is the Director of Strategic Initiatives and has been with IABH for five years. She is the Director of CGTI, oversees Operation Snowball, Inc., the OS Board of Directors, and the Mental Health Technology Transfer Center (MHTTC) grant. She is also a part of IABH’s policy staff and supports the associations on-going advocacy efforts. Ashley holds a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology with a concentration in human development from DePaul University.
The newly hired Prevention Program Coordinator, Riley Blythe will run the day-to-day operations of OS, Inc. Riley will be supporting OS Chapters and Cebrin Goodman Teen Institute (CGTI) Community Action Teams through trainings, technical assistance, outreach, fundraising, and will work with community members to increase prevention programming throughout Illinois.

She is an alumnus of Homewood-Flossmoor High School and has been volunteering with their OS Chapter in various leadership roles since 2009, as well as volunteering with CGTI since 2012. Prior to joining IABH, she worked with individuals, in recovery from substance abuse, members of the HIV community, and provided individual and group therapy to at-risk youth in the greater Chicago area. She holds a master’s degree in Social Work with a specialization in Children and Family from Loyola University Chicago. 
Letter from OS Staff
We have been busy brainstorming with each other and the OS Board of Directors for ways to continue moving the Snowball program forward and have a few new ideas up our sleeves that we are excited to share with you!

Many Operation Snowball chapters have been standing for decades, some for a handful of years, and others are just beginning. Every single chapter is valued for the stage they are in and celebrated for the work they are accomplishing in their communities. We know the impact OS has and we want to continue expanding the program. As always, Chapter Accreditation renewal forms will be sent out at the beginning of the calendar year. With the new Accreditation Package, we will be requiring each chapter send a youth and adult to one training a year. As OS, Inc. we would like to create a safe space for educational growth in new topics that youth are facing, a place for chapters to network, and move together as a collective whole to maintain the fidelity of the program.

OS, Inc. hosts trainings each year to support the work that you all are doing back in your schools and communities. Recently, a poll was sent out to gather feedback from chapter contacts about what training topics would be most beneficial. Once results were obtained, we narrowed the list to the top 6 most voted topics. We will be releasing the training schedule after the first of the year in the Accreditation Package.

We are also here to share a new resource that we can offer to you, Youth Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) Training. Youth MHFA teaches how to identify, understand and respond to signs of mental illnesses and substance use disorders in Youth. This 8-hour training gives adults who work with youth the skills they need to reach out and provide initial support to adolescents (ages 12-18) who may be developing a mental health or substance use problem and help connect them to the appropriate care. Riley is a Certified Youth Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) Instructor and would love to work with you and your school or agency staff to certify adults who are interested in being a part of this movement. Please reach out to Riley if you are looking to schedule a tentative training date, would like additional resources on MHFA, or have any questions.

As registration for the January Mid-Year Conference is just about full, we could not be more delighted to know that there will be 18 Operation Snowball Chapters represented. With the large interest in participation for this event we have decided to join forces with the Cebrin Goodman Teen Institute and partner for our Winter conference. There will be 3 specific OS sponsored workshops at the Mid-Year Conference. We are looking forward to connecting and networking at the Winter event.

Please remember, as part of your Accreditation Package we are always here to support you in any way we can. Whether it be speaking at your OS event, assisting in finding a presenter on a certain topic, or offering technical assistance and training, don’t hesitate to reach out.

We are excited about our new roles and the opportunity to work more closely with Operation Snowball!

All the best,
Ashley & Riley
OS Chapter Event Schedule
What OS events do you have scheduled?

As the end of the year is quickly approaching, we are looking to get dates locked in on the calendar for what Snowball events your chapter is planning for 2019. A state-wide OS Event Calendar will be made and sent out after responses come through. Please take a moment and fill out this survey!
OS Board of Director Elections
You are invited to nominate an adult to serve on the
Board of Directors for Operation Snowball, Inc.
who will represent your OS District!

The OS Board of Directors uses their expertise to assist in further program development, provide technical assistance to bring chapters to the next level, enhance youth leadership, uphold the mission of Snowball and hold the program to fidelity and to support EVERY Snowball Chapter’s implementation.
 
Once nomination forms have been returned, the individuals who have been nominated will be placed on an official ballot for the election. You may re-nominate a current Board member whose term is ending this December.

The current OS Board roster, OS Chapter district map, and Board Member roles were sent via email, but you can click on the link below to find each one.

Your nomination is essential to the growth and expansion of Operation Snowball and we look forward to receiving your nomination!

Featured OS Chapter
WESTMONT/CUSD 201 OPERATION SNOWBALL
Q: What fall event did your OS Chapter hold?
A: We had our fall Snowball at Camp Henry Horner in Ingleside, Illinois from Friday-Sunday, November 9-11, 2018. We had 125 total students attend last month (11 staff members plus 114 participants). This was our biggest group in several years. Our high school is about 400 students, so we took up nearly 1/3 of the school for the weekend!

Q: Overall reflections of the event?
A: It was an amazing fall retreat, we really felt the energy and the power of the program from start to finish over the entire weekend. Our entire fall Staff worked incredibly hard to make this weekend happen for their peers. Our theme was "Move Along" and our lesson/takeaway was how life is like a puzzle, yet we're all connected with each other, especially when we help each other. We are very proud of our fall staff, they really hit it out of the park and made this weekend incredibly memorable for so many of their peers and really helped to create a strong "buzz" that will keep our program running strong for years to come.
Featured OS Board Member
Q: Profession/ Job Title?
A: Private Wealth Advisor

Q: Board Position/District Seat?
A: Board Chair

Q: Why did you want to join the OS Board of Directors?
A: To give back to the program that helped to develop my leadership skills and my understanding of alcohol addiction. 

Q: What is your favorite Snowball memory?
A: Sledding at Camp Duncan

Q: What would you say to a youth who is skeptical of attending an OS event?
A: I guarantee that you will learn something and have fun along the way.
Edward Gudas
OS Board Chair
Featured OS Youth
Samone Moreland
Homewood-Flossmoor
OS Chapter
Q: What staff positions have you held?
A: Small Group Leader for Snowball, Snowflake, & Snowflurry. Publicity Director for our upcoming 2019 Snowflake.

Q: Why did you join Snowball?
A: I joined Snowball because it gave me an outlet to open up and break out of my shell. I used to be a very shy person, but Snowball showed me that it's okay to get to know people. The program keeps you surrounded by so much positive energy!

Q: What is your favorite Snowball memory?
A: Meeting my small group and getting to know everyone's personalities.

Zac Lauder
Homewood-Flossmoor
OS Chapter
Q: What staff positions have you held?
A: Small Group Leader, Co-Finance Director, & Support Staff

Q: Why did you join Snowball?
A: My freshman year my mom decided I should go to Snowball. I had never had the chance to go to any Snow program before and I didn't want to go, but Thursday night came and off to Snowball I went. Making the decision to go was probably the best thing to ever happen to me. After that weekend I just wanted more, I couldn't wait to go back.

Q: What is your favorite Snowball memory?
A: My favorite Snowball memory was my junior year when I was a Small Group Leader. The weekend came to an end and as staff we were required to clean up a section of Camp Manitoqua. I wrote my name, ZAC, on the sign-up sheet. The adult Overall Director was reading off the duties and stopped when he got to my section and yelled "Who is 2AC?". And since that day I have been known as 2AC.
Resources
Did you know the APRC records webinars for future viewing?
YES! The Alcohol Policy Resource Center has recorded webinars that you can view any time. No need to travel through the winter weather! Keep warm and cozy up to your computer and a bit of professional development! For more information, visit the Alcohol Policy Resource Center , email  Kellie Henrichs ,  or call Kellie at 312-350-1320.    
Soon to Come...
Chapter Accreditation Renewal – January

CGTI/OS Mid-Year – January 19 & 20

OS, Inc. Trainings – February-May Dates & Locations TBD
STAY CONNECTED!
Follow & tag us on social media, we want to see what amazing things you are doing in your communities!
Need assistance with your Chapter development? Training? Event ideas?
Call the Operation Snowball Inc. office
at 217-528-7335 ext. 27 or email riley@ilabh.org

Operation Snowball, Inc.
937 South Second St.
Springfield, IL 62704
Operation Snowball Mission Statement: Through the development of leadership skills, Operation Snowball shall be a youth and adult partnership, providing awareness and prevention of alcohol, tobacco, and other drug use, while encouraging healthy decision-making in an active community of caring.