Commissioners proclaim ‘You Matter Week’

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L-R back row: Daniel and Heather Suerdieck, Cooper Pierce. L-R front row: Commissioners Matt Aultman, Marshall Combs and Larry Holmes.

GREENVILLE—The Darke County Board of Commissioners met on Tuesday afternoon to open sealed bids and proclaim You Matter Week. Commissioner Matt Aultman, Marshall Combs and Larry Holmes were present.

Prior to the start of the meeting, the board proclaimed the third week in May to be You Matter Week in Darke County, in celebration of May being Teen Mental Health Month.

Heather Suerdieck, owner of Inside/Out Coaching, spearheaded the proclamation.

Suerdieck founded the You Matter Movement, in which she passes out bracelets with “You Matter” on them to students in Darke and Preble Counties.

Suerdieck and son Cooper.

After next week she will have passed out about 8,000 bracelets to Darke County students.

The bracelets serve as a reminder that everyone has a voice, and that they matter.

The bracelets are available for purchase at four different locations in Darke County: Four Twenty Three in Greenville, Ashes to Beauty in Ansonia, Blue Willow Boutique in Versailles and 4One Apparel in Arcanum. From each silicone You Matter bracelet purchase, $1 goes back to buying the You Matter bracelets for local students, and from each leather, You Matter bracelet purchase, $2 goes back.

Cooper and Heather handed out bracelets to everyone at the meeting, including the commissioners.

In addition to a silicone bracelet that reads “You Matter,” students received a card that reads, “You Matter. Two of the most powerful words on the planet, yet we struggle to say them to ourselves each and every day. Your journey matters. Your voice matters. Your feelings matter. Your thoughts matter. Your future matters. And most of all, you matter.”

Commissioner Aultman said her message is very relevant with teens today.

“Mental health has to come to the forefront the passed few years, ever since COVID-19,” he said. “That’s one component. When you get into school, a lot of things happening in your life and pressure put on you in life, there’s a lot of good things you need to look inside of yourself as a student, and know that you’re important, and everything that you do towards your day is important. Share that message with other students, not just for the You Matter program, but on a daily basis.”

Suerdieck was joined by her son Cooper Pierce, 10, who helped her found the movement.

Like his mother, Pierce recently donated 500 You Matter bracelets and cards to patients at Dayton Children’s Hospital.

Afterwards, the board approved six sealed bids for a street reconstruction, and a waterline replacement within New Madison.

The board received bids from LJ DeWeese Company, of Tipp City; Finfrock Construction Company, of Covington; M&T Excavating, of Bradford; Brumbaugh Construction, of Arcanum and Durst Brother’s Excavating, of New Carlisle and Tom’s Construction, of St. Henry.

The engineer’s estimate for the project is $550,000. The project will be funded with village funds, CDBG funds and Ohio Public Works funds if approved.

The board will review the bids and plan to act on them sometime next week.

The Darke County Board of Commissioners hold regular session every Tuesday and Thursday at 1:30 p.m. at 520 South Broadway, Greenville, Ohio 45331. For more information contact the commissioner’s office at 937-547-7370.