Most Madison County citizens will likely watch the upcoming Christmas parades with cheer, gazing at the festive floats, chatting about last minute holiday shopping and dreaming of sugar plums and candy canes to come.

But Latonya Hager hopes citizens will take home with them a message of hope.

Not for another new year or a happy holiday, but hope for the future of Madison County and the elimination of a drug problem that leaves one seat empty at the Hager’s Christmas dinner table this year.

Hager is one of several local citizens who have worked to bring together the Central Kentucky Area Anti-Drug Coalition, Madison County Division. Her son, Drew Ramey, died from a drug overdose in November 2005. Since his death, she has made it her cause to find resources for parents she didn’t have while her son was still alive.

On Dec. 1 and 2, Hager is asking for those who support the coalition’s work to join her in the Richmond and Berea annual Christmas parades.

“What I’m wanting is for people to just be there to support me and the rest of the people in the coalition to get more community awareness,” Hager said.

Hager is asking for citizens to volunteer to carry signs, part of a 6-foot banner or just walk along in support.

“Everybody — church groups, concerned citizens, parents — just come and walk with us, that would be greatly appreciated just to show the community we support this anti-drug coalition,” Hager said. “We know there’s a problem, we know there’s a need.”

Hager said the group will be participating in both Richmond and Berea’s parades this year. Richmond participants will be lining up at 5:30 p.m. at the Eastern Kentucky University Alumni Colliseum Dec. 1. Participants in Berea will line up at 4:30 P.m. at the Berea Community School on Dec. 2.

“There’s hope coming,” Hager said. “We’re here to help. Come march with us.”

Members from United Bikers Against Drugs will also be participating with the group during the parade. For information about how to get involved, call Latonya Hager at 314-2054, or visit www.4udrew.com.

Kelly Foreman can be reached at kforeman@richmondregister.com or 624-6694.

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