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The 15-year reunion of Safford High School’s Class of 2006 was always going to be special, but Caroline Dotson wanted to make it even more so.

Because so many of her former classmates have struggled with and succumbed to substance abuse issues, the Hindsville, Arkansas resident thought it would be a good idea to turn this month’s reunion into a fundraiser for the Graham County Substance Abuse Coalition.

“We’re losing people so quickly. We want to collaborate, we also want to make a difference and everybody was on board,” she said. “I think it’s going to be a sweet event with a good purpose.”

The reunion’s $20 entrance fee and funds raised through a silent auction will go directly to the coalition, Dotson said.

“People are coming from Colorado, Utah, Texas, our class has really stuck together and had so many tragedies,” she said.

Coalition director Kathy Grimes said the funds will go to the coalition’s House of Hope and a new peer support group.

“Reunions are always fun. It’s a fun opportunity and we’re appreciative of their support,” Grimes said.

The class has invited the faculty to the reunion too, Dotson said.

“I can’t wait to see everyone,” said Dotson.

One classmate has even paid the entrance fee for those who can’t afford to attend, she said.

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