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'The Real Deal' on alcohol poisoning

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Ken Real presentation

On Oct. 26 at Aquinas, Ken Real speaks Oct. 26 while an image of his son Cole is shown on a screen. Real talked about his son's 2014 death from alcohol poisoning that could have been avoided if another person present had called 911 for help.  The Butler Believes in Youth and Community coalition invited Real to speak at local schools during National Red Ribbon Week.

“You didn’t get a speaker, you got a dad” Ken Real of Grafton announced as he addressed students at Butler County schools.

During National Red Ribbon Week, the Butler Believes in Youth Coalition (BBYC) sponsored Ken Real to present “The Real Deal on Alcohol Poisoning. Know the Signs, Save a Life” last week to student gatherings at Aquinas, David City, and East Butler schools.

On September 5, 2014, Ken Real received the call that his son, Clay, was dead.

Just ten days prior, he had dropped his only son off to college, to pursue a degree before coming back to become the fifth generation farmer. An investigation revealed that Clay died of alcohol poisoning. His blood alcohol levels were at a .38. Arrests were made.

Real explained that to save his son’s life, it would have taken only one person to recognize the signs of alcohol poisoning and call 911.

He shared the anagram provided by the non-profit awareness organization, Aware Awake Alive: MUST HELP. M: mental confusion, U: unresponsive, S: snoring/gasping, T: throw up, H: hypothermia, E: erratic breathing, L: loss of consciousness, and P: paleness of skin. Know the signs of alcohol poisoning. “Do the right thing” exclaimed Mr. Real, “make the call”.

“The majority of youth, don’t drink or do drugs,” Butler County District Attorney, Julie Reiter, stated.

Within the last year in Butler County, the majority of court indictments were alcohol related. The consequences of these indictments are often unseen, but serious. She reminded students that a criminal record can be a setback for a young person’s goals in applying for scholarships, admission to college or jobs.

Real’s presentation was one of the activities of National Red Ribbon Week from Oct. 23 to Oct. 31. This week is designed to educate youth of the dangers of drugs and alcohol and promote a drug-free lifestyle.

Aware Awake Alive prevents loss of life to alcohol poisoning by educating teens, young adults and parents on the dangers and symptoms of alcohol overdose. We generate awareness and dialogue around amnesty-based policy and legislation, and create an atmosphere of partnership in which young people, parents, educators, and like-minded organizations share responsibility for supporting and educating one another. To learn more, visit


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