Drug coalition planning events - Republic-Times | News

Drug coalition planning events

By on September 13, 2017 at 3:28 pm

The Monroe County Coalition for Drug Free Communities, which returned from summer break Monday at the Monroe County YMCA, welcomed a fresh face.

Coalition secretary Gary Most introduced Sarah Giglotto, who recently coordinated a prayer vigil in Waterloo for those who have lost loved ones to heroin.

“What you did as a small group is fantastic,” Most said to Giglotto.

Giglotto told the coalition of her background — losing a friend to heroin five years ago and having a friend currently in prison because of heroin. She said she plans to be a regular at the meetings.

“I’m ready to get involved in the community and kick heroin’s butt,” she said.

Another item on the agenda was to come up with a list of events for October, which is National Substance Abuse Prevention Month. Tentatively, there are three total events the coalition is promoting.

One event is a community forum at the Monroe County Courthouse in Waterloo. Slated for 3 p.m. Oct. 8, the event will include speakers ranging from law enforcement and Monroe County State’s Attorney Chris Hitzemann, to those who have lost loved ones to substance abuse. 

The plan is also to have various booths with pamphlets and other items to hand out to attendees. Giglotto is planning an October viewing opportunity at LifeChurchX in Waterloo of the Madison County-based documentary “The Heroin Project.” The date is to be determined.

Oct. 28 is National Prescription Drug Take Back Day, and the coalition plans to have two locations set up for the community to drop off unwanted prescriptions or drugs. The coalition is tentatively setting up booths from 10 a.m. to noon at the Columbia Walgreens and Waterloo Schnucks.

Additionally, the first coalition meeting of the school year serves as the time to appoint new officers, who are sworn in to their positions Jan. 1. Coalition chairman Bill Rebholz said he needs to step down from his role while continuing to serve on the executive board.

Most was asked to take his place, and the coalition voted to accept this nomination. 

“I think everybody that’s been around knows Gary has done an awesome job,” Rebholz said.

Most said that as chairman, he wants to form new committees within the coalition. These committees would include Family Outreach, Past Attendee Re-engagement, Community Involvement, Awareness and Marketing, Community Outreach, Coalition Overview Presentation Development, and Grant Writing. 

A decision to appoint a new secretary in place of Most was tabled until the October meeting. Vicki Koerber will continue to serve as vice chairperson.

A discussion on the various support groups in the county included an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting at 8 p.m. Mondays and Wednesdays at Immanuel Lutheran Church in Waterloo; a Narcotics Anonymous meeting at 7 p.m. Wednesdays at First Baptist Church in Waterloo; and a Celebrate Recovery meeting at 6:30 p.m. Tuesdays at Hope Christian Church in Columbia.

The coalition’s next meeting is scheduled for 4 p.m. Oct. 1 at the YMCA.

Sean McGowan

Sean is a die-hard Cubs fan, despite the relentless peer pressure coming from the rest of the Republic-Times staff. He and his wife, Jacqui, have been married for two years. Originally from the west suburbs of Chicago, Sean and his wife moved down to Normal to attend Illinois State University and stayed central Illinois residents for the past four years. email:sean@republictimes.net