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Equestrian groups participate in Take Down Tobacco Day

Team Boulder Ridge Stables are led by Ivorie Tanski Fors. From left is Aspen Fors, MacKenna Boozer, Mikaela Coyle, Brook Scott, Lara Pearson, Lynsey Arthur, Alice Pearson, Addison Blair, Grace Cummings, Sophia Davis, Madasyn Gurdak, and Brooksten Fors.

April 1 was Take Down Tobacco Day, a national day of action used as a platform for empowering youth to stand up and speak out against the tobacco industry. It reflects how far the United States has come and how far we still need to go to achieve the first tobacco-free generation.

Tobacco Resistance groups, educators, parents, and concerned citizens come together to organize events to raise awareness of the problem of tobacco in their communities.

These events encourage youth to reject the tobacco industry’s deceptive marketing and stay tobacco-free. We are also urging elected officials to take action to protect youth from tobacco.

“Helping our youth live a healthy lifestyle and know the dangers of all tobacco products, including vaping, is so important to us,” said Ivorie Tanksi Fors, Youngsville resident, and owner of Boulder Ridge Stables.

In Warren County, youth are saying “NEIGH” to nicotine while riding their equestrian partners in clean air at their Young Lungs at Play! approved tobacco-free horse stables! Young Lungs at Play! is an initiative that provides organizations, municipalities, school districts and outdoor areas where youth are present to be free of the dangers of second-hand smoke.

Team Dell Performance Horses are led by Jillian Gazdak. From left is Talia Fanara, Mia Sasso, Denza Fanara, Mia Fanara, Ava Sasso, and Shiloh Daniels.

“Equestrian sports are extremely physically demanding,” said Jillian Gazdak, Russell resident and owner of Dell Performance Horses. “After learning about the Tobacco Resistance Unit we immediately wanted our students to get involved.”

Both teams compete in the Winter Academy Tournament and are affiliated with the United Professional Horseman’s Association. Their next Tournament is on April 18, where they will also be participating in educational activities surrounding tobacco and supporting other youth ages 12-18 to sign up for the Tobacco Resistance Unit.

For more information on how to join the Tobacco Resistance Unit for youth ages 12-18 or having your location approved for Young Lungs at Play!, please contact Claire Coffin at ccoffin@adagiohealth.org.

For more information regarding horse-back riding lessons, please contact Jillian Gazdak at (716) 397-2577 or Ivorie Tanski Fors at (814) 706-5590.

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