To the editor,
Congratulations to the Croton Coalition Against Drug and Alcohol Abuse on a job well done. Of course, this job is never really done, but the Coalition has reached the end of its two 5-year federal grants to increase awareness of alcohol and drug abuse and take steps to address it.
During these past 10+ years, the Coalition brought together 12 sectors of residents including businesses, medical professionals, educators, students, fraternal groups, religious affiliations, local government, and police. The Village government acted as the Coalition’s fiscal agent with regarding to managing and reporting on the $125,000 yearly grant.
Led in recent years by Coordinator, Laurie Dean, the Coalition can point to many accomplishments. Prior to Laurie, Ginny Loughlin served in that position. Several of these accomplishments are well known such as the annual Vassallo Fest, five mandated surveys for 8th, 10th and12th graders in the schools, several Town Halls on vaping, addiction and alcohol, Drug Take Back Days at Croton Commons, among others. The Coalition’s annual signature event, the Candlelight Vigil, organized by high school teens themselves, was a time for reflection and understanding. Additionally, the Coalition sponsored training for responsible alcohol sales and serving, known as TIPS, for area stores and bars/restaurants. Croton Police are now certified to continue this training into the future. A series of 6 postcards providing information on marijuana, was designed thru the Croton Coalition and won national recognition. It is now used by other coalitions across the country.
While the grant has run out, the Coalition has left a positive record in Croton as much for bringing diverse groups together as for its specific mission of education about drug and alcohol abuse.
Thank you to all who participated over the last 10 years.
Ann Gallelli, Deputy Mayor