Zion Evangelical Lutheran Church
545 7th St
Freeland MI 48623
FAN Saginaw started with two moms who met through their shared experience of addiction in their families. We shared our stories, our fears and our hopes at Nar-Anon meetings. We then shared our grief as we both lost our sons to addiction.
Our grief launched our interest in helping others avoid the stigma and secrecy families experience while coping with a loved one's addiction. We started educating ourselves by attending numerous drug abuse seminars and meeting a group of people from Fraser Michigan called FAN. They are doing what we wanted to do. We knew we needed to bring FAN to Saginaw. We are concerned about the increasing use of opiates and the reality that our community needs education. We personally know of many other families struggling with addiction.
Our goal is to educate and support others who are navigating their way through the addiction nightmare. We are doing this by bringing together law enforcement, judicial, health and mental health workers, government officials, counselors, teachers, parents and concerned citizens. We offer hope by sharing a support system that understands the addictive personality. We know this is not a moral issue, but a disease that requires a multifaceted approach to overcome. It is real people with real stories offering their love and support to help with recovery. The first FAN Saginaw meeting was held on May 8, 2012.
|President, Amy Murawski
Amy is the current President of Saginaw County FAN Chapter. She is a graduate of Central Michigan University with a Master's of Science Degree in Administration. Amy worked 21 years in Public Health and was the Director of Substance Abuse Services for the Regional Coordinating Agency system. She is currently the Substance Use Disorder Coordinator at Saginaw County Community Mental Health Authority. Amy services on the Co-Occurring Disorder Workgroup, Behavioral Health Action Group. She is a certified Alcohol and Drug Counselor and Certified Prevention Specialist.
Vice President, Cheryl Popielarz
Cheryl was born and raised and currently lives in Saginaw County. She obtained her bachelor's degree in Social Work at Western Michigan University and her Master in Counseling from Central Michigan University. Cheryl is a Certified Prevention Consultant/lCRC who is retired from the Saginaw County Youth Protection Council where she was a division director of Prevention and Youth Services Drug Education Center. Cheryl has 36 years of experience in prevention. Her experience began with counseling adolescents and their families and grew to include substance abuse prevention education and community based services. As a charter board member of Saginaw FAN since May 2012, Cheryl remains dedicated to prevention of substance abuse with youth and families.
|Executive Secretary, Karla Wise
Kara has been a member of FAN Saginaw for 2 years and is the Secretary of the Chapter. She is married with 4 children and has 8 grandchildren. Her youngest son, Jordan is a recovering heroin addict and has 3 years of continuous sobriety.One of her biggest passions with FAN is being able to do presentations at our area schools with our recovery speakers.She believes with real life stories we can begin to get to the heart and souls of those most needing to hear our testimonies.
|Executive Treasurer, Erin Lange
In 2007, one of Erin's close friends passed away from a drug overdose; she initially got involved with FAN when his mother helped found the Saginaw Chapter in 2012. Erin has seen many people close to her touched by addiction and now serves as executive treasurer. She also currently works part-time as a cosmetologist and attends Saginaw Valley State University pursuing a Master's Degree in Occupational Therapy. She is grateful for the role FAN has played in helping educate her about this epidemic and for giving her the opportunity to help and share with others who are affected by addiction.
Director, Ann Denno
Ann is a founding member of FAN Saginaw Chapter. Her son, Cameron, lost his life in 2011 due to a drug overdose. He was just 21 years old and had been in recovery for 11 months. She knew she needed to bring awareness to the community of the increasing use of prescription drugs. She and her family hope that as awareness increases, families will seek the help and support they need without shame or guilt. Her dream is that no other family will have to suffer the heartbreak of losing a child to a drug overdose.
|Director, Rhonda Voelker
Rhonda is a founding member of FAN Saginaw Chapter. She lost her son Allen to an accidental heroin overdose in October 2007. She continues to learn how to cope with the effects of her son's death and life without him. Her grief and strong religious beliefs helped her move forward and to find a group that can help bring awareness and educate her community. Rhonda retired from Delphi Saginaw Steering in 2006. Determined to make a difference she helped begin a FAN chapter in Saginaw