Jessica Gerdes, RN, MS, NCSN School Health Consultant 5616 Dover Drive Lisle, IL 60532

Dear Colleague,

I’m writing you about a highly successful live program we organized for selected middle and high schools here in suburban Chicago. It was so well-received, our health department purchased the video of this program for all the remaining schools in our county.

Bringing this speaker in live is a wonderful opportunity for you to demonstrate leadership, be pro-active, and make a difference in your community.

Last Spring, our health department enlisted three local hospitals to help cover the cost for five days of talks by Patrick Reynolds. Since hospitals have to show evidence of community outreach, it was relatively easy for our health department’s tobacco control coordinator to quickly obtain sponsorship from the local hospitals, with no cost to any of the schools.Anti-smoking advocate Patrick Reynolds has devoted his life to teen smoking prevention and tobacco education. A motivational speaker, his university lecture, health conference keynote speeches, and his live assembly programs before high schools and middle schools have reached thousands of college students, teens and youth.

Why not call a hospital’s Markteting or Community Relations Director, and use the talking points? You could also forward this message to the tobacco control coordinator in your local health department, and ask for their support in calling a hospital or two.

Initially, we called our local hospital’s Director of Marketing, and invited them to co-sponsor a “well known speaker who would likely be covered by local news media.”

The hospital executive we called quickly understood that the press coverage could build goodwill in the community for their hospital, if they joined
as a co-sponsor. Later, the hospitals were thrilled with the positive front page news coverage they received in one of Chicago’s largest papers.

Mr. Reynolds’ evening presentation for community members was also a great success.

Patrick Reynolds is a grandson of tobacco company founder, R.J. Reynolds, but after his father died from smoking, he turned his back on
the industry his family helped build. Since then, Mr. Reynolds has devoted his life to the tobacco free cause, and he has become a well known tobacco prevention advocate and persuasive motivational speaker, for grades 6 – 12, as well as colleges and community groups. He modestly told us he is “just pleased to make a difference.” I can assure you, he has no connection whatsoever to the tobacco industry.

As of today, he still has three days open for Red Ribbon Week, and of course, there are other health observances coming up, like the Great American Smokeout in November and Kick Butts Week in April.

I attended all of Patrick Reynolds’ talks here. I was impressed as he consistently created an emotional bond with his audiences, as he told his personal story of watching his father die from emphysema, when Patrick was 15.

Interacting frequently with the students as he spoke, he skillfully took them on a journey of revelation, opening their eyes to nicotine addiction, and the deceptive advertising and marketing practices directed at youth by the tobacco companies.

The overheads he used were convincing and effective.

Through his inspiring talk and polished story-telling, Mr. Reynolds gave youth here a motivating and informative health lesson, which follows CDC-guidelines. In each of the schools he visited, he received tremendous praise from students and staff. Later, students continued to learn as health teachers and school nurses used his follow-up discussion guide in classrooms.

I wholeheartedly recommend this gifted speaker and his program. We plan to bring Mr. Reynolds back.

Mr. Reynolds also offers a “Town Meeting” about local tobacco issues at no extra charge, if it immediately follows his talk to youth. Let hospitals you call know that adult community members may be invited to his talks at middle and high schools, with schools’ permission, space permitting. Hospitals like to include the local community.

The fee to have Mr. Reynolds speak to grades 6 – 12 is $3,000, plus travel from LA. This fee covers two talks; additional talks to grades 6 – 12 may be added in at $1,500 per talk. Town Meetings immediately following school talks are included in the cost. The cost for a freestanding college program, or any group of adults, is $3,950, plus travel for one talk. Again, hospitals will quickly sponsor; just visit the five minute plan to bring Patrick Reynolds in.

Thanks for considering what I feel is a wonderful program idea. Please have a look the links below, and feel free to print this out for future reference, or circulate it to your colleagues.

Sincerely yours,

Jessica Gerdes,
School Health Consultant
5616 Dover Drive
Lisle, IL 60532

Contact in Patrick Reynolds’ office:
Office Manager
(310) 577-9828


You might want to print these pages out for future reference:

Info on Patrick Reynolds’ live talks –

Talking points and who to call at local hospitals –

Info on the educational video of his live program –

Please feel free to circulate the link to this letter, posted at

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