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Ken Dash of West Valley named youth advocate of the year

WEST VALLEY — West Valley Reality Check member Ken Dash received the New York State Western Region Youth Advocate of the Year Award on Jan. 22. He was nominated by Chautauqua, Cattaraugus and Allegany County Reality Check coordinators Sam Vanstrom and Jon Chaffee, for his contributions to his community and his efforts to educate people about the targeting of young people as smokers.

Dash has participated in Reality Check for approximately two years. During that time, he attended several regional and statewide youth conferences, helped lead the West Valley Students Against Destructive Decisions/Reality Check after-school program, participated in local cigarette cleanups and community education events and presented at several local municipal boards.

He is active with the ski club and his youth group.

“Ken is a very well-spoken, caring young man,” Vanstrom said. “I am so glad our statewide Reality Check program has decided to give him this award.”

The Youth Advocate of the Year Award was given at a press conference held Jan. 22 in Albany, as part of the program’s Legislative Day activities. Dash was unable to attend and area representatives accepted the award for him.

Reality Check is a youth action program within the Bureau of Tobacco Control. Its stated mission is to expose retail marketing and tobacco depictions in media.

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