Drug-free coalition awarded $15,000 grant

The Monroe County Coalition for Drug-Free Communities was recently awarded a grant for $15,000 to help with start-up projects.

The grant money, which came from the Deaconess Foundation, will be used for marketing, clerical, legal and education support for the coalition.

The coalition executive board is working with the Regional Office of Education and Anne King of Human Support Services to figure out the best plan for the allocated grant money.

“We don’t have enough money to hire a full-time executive director, but the regional office is going to donate office space for us, a computer and possibly a phone line,” Bill Rebholz, one of the coalition’s founders, said. “This money will be very useful with our start-up.”

The coalition voted to do away with the group’s “steering committee” and rename it the “executive board.”

It will contain the same key coalition members who have been heading up the group since November.

The proclamation, which was drafted and modified to be sent to city officials in Monroe County, has been finalized and approved.

The proclamation contains the coalition’s stance against the legalization of marijuana in any form.

“I’m willing to sit down with the city attorneys and ask them to take the strongest stance possible against this,” Rebholz said.

The coalition approved the proposed bylaws that have been in the works for the past few months that encompass mission, vision, membership, governance, officers and record keeping.

Results from the Illinois Youth Survey are still pending because there are some schools and counties in the state that have yet to be tabulated.

“When we looked at the 2012 numbers, it was important to look at levels in other areas of the state,” Rebholz said. “The next meeting will be interesting because we hope to begin the process of data analysis when those stats come out.”

During the September Coalition meeting, Columbia Police Chief Joe Edwards will serve as guest speaker.

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