The Crusader Character and Courage Club hosted a Pep Rally Rush event on Sept. 18 in the Arthur L. Johnson Lower Gym.
Members of the CCC include both ALJ student athletes, parents, coaches, school and community leaders. With positive support from the club, the ALJ student athletes strive to become better leaders by using sports as motivation to make good decisions and encouraging teammates and peers to do the same.
After decorating for the fall pep rally, other students and parents arrived for the keynote speaker of the evening. Special guest speaker and Clark resident, Dave Toma, presented to inspire the ALJ student athletes and community to make good choices when it comes to the use of illegal substances and alcohol.
For more than 50 years, Toma has worked with people around the world that are in desperate need of help while their lives spin out of control. Toma's message has been formed through years of real-world experience as he has seen how drugs and alcohol can destroy lives in his years as a highly decorated detective. He was a police officer for 21 years, 17 of those years as a detective in the Vice, Gambling, and Narcotics Squad in one of the busiest cities in the world, Newark, New Jersey.
Toma has had two Hollywood TV series made based on his work as an undercover narcotics detective, “Toma” and “Baretta.” He has also written six bestselling books and has received numerous Humanitarian Awards, including both the prestigious Four Chaplains Legion of Honor Bronze Medallion. More recently he has been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize. Toma has dedicated his life to bringing his message on drugs to young people everywhere.
“Our first annual Pep Rally Rush sponsored by the Crusader Character and Courage Club was a rousing success," said Michael Mancino, Head Football Coach. "The first half of the program, the fall sports teams decorated the gym in preparation for Thursday's pep rally. The highlight of the evening was hearing famous motivational speaker and Clark resident David Toma, who inspired the athletes to become better leaders and to make better decisions.”