Drugs, alcohol and peer pressure can lead youth to make poor decisions and act in an irresponsible and dangerous way.
Katy Hutchinson knows first hand the cost of that type of behaviour.
Her husband and the father of their twins, Bob McIntosh, was beaten to death by youths when he went to investigate an unchaperoned party down the street from his Squamish home in 1997.
On April 6 Hutchinson, now remarried, will tell "The Story of Bob" at Millennium Place at 7 p.m.
Sponsored by the Whistler Alcohol and Drug Awareness Committee and Whistler-Blackcomb, Hutchinsons powerful presentation shares how this traumatic event impacted her life as a wife and mother of two young children.
Her personal and interactive presentation is designed to inform young people, and their parents, of the risks arising from using alcohol and other drugs, unsupervised settings, and to empower teens to make healthy choices.
Hutchinson will also explore the power of forgiveness and describe her own grassroots quests for restorative justice.
In fact, she has given the same presentation to Lower Mainland parents and youth with the young man who confessed to McIntoshs murder five years after the event.
Though Ryan Aldridge remains in jail in the Fraser Valley he is allowed out with supervision to take part in Hutchinsons presentations in the Lower Mainland. The media are barred from the event.
She first asked to meet Aldridge when police told her they had finally made an arrest in the case and flew to Squamish from her new home in Victoria to do so.
Hutchinson also recorded a video explaining to Aldridge what had happened to her and her family over the years since the murder and what McIntosh had meant to her and the twins. She urged him to confess and he did.
Hutchinson also asked Aldridge to become part of The Story of Bob so that other youth could hear from a peer the effects of drugs, alcohol, and a mob mentality.
Since 2003, when Hutchinson started making her presentations, she has taken the story to hundreds of schools and has even spoken overseas.
Admission for next Wednesday nights presentation is by donation. The speaker series will continue on April 18 when Dr. Gordon Neufeld will present "Hold on to Your Kids."