On Monday, October 16, 2000 tragedy struck the state of Missouri and the Medfels Project. Governor Mel Carnahan, Chief Aid Chris Sifford and the Governor’s son Randy lost their lives in a plane crash just out side of St. Louis. Governor Carnahan and Chris were instrumental in bringing the Medfels project to its current state of readiness.
During the inaugural press conference for Midwest HIDTA’s “Life or Meth” campaign, Chris came to us and asked for ideas to extend Meth education. His commitment to young children and the governor’s emphasis on education stimulated the idea to develop a Meth education program for younger children. The governor asked us to develop a proposal and pledged his support to secure funding.
In the succeeding months Chris served as a liaison between the Governor’s office and Southeast Missouri State’s Criminal Justice Department. Chris and the Governor reviewed drafts of the proposal, made suggestions and infused energy into the project members. It was obvious that the Governor and Chris saw rigorous enforcement and education as the keys to attacking the meth cancer.
After the proposal was refined, the Governor’s office fulfilled their promise of securing funding. The proposal was forwarded to Midwest HIDTA and a partnership between Midwest HIDTA, the Missouri Department of Public Safety and Southeast Missouri State University ensured the project would receive the necessary funding.
The involvement and interest of these two public servants continued after the financial issues were completed. Despite the demands of his official duties and a hectic campaign schedule, Governor Carnahan took the time to come to Southeast on August 6th and helped launch the project. He met with members of the task force and extended his gratitude for their participation. Chris continued to serve as liaison and became even more energized as the project neared completion.
It is deeply regrettable that neither Chris nor the Governor was able to view this web page or witness the delivery of the program to elementary students. Their initial concept, their dedication to public service, their tenacity and their love for children are interwoven throughout this project. Medfels never would have come to fruition without them.
In their honor, we dedicate this web site to Governor Mel Carnahan and Chris Sifford. Let every student who successfully completes the program, and every adult that withstands the temptation of methamphetamine, serve as a small legacy to the numerous contributions that both men have made.