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Nonprofit coalition snags $625,000 anti-drug grant

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Shelly Birkelo
September 4, 2012

— Things are about to change at Janesville Mobilizing 4 Change.

After learning last week it had secured a $625,000 grant from the Drug-Free Communities Support Program, the local nonprofit coalition believes the time is right to hire a full-time project coordinator.

"We hope to have someone on board by Oct. 15, for about $45,000, to spearhead our efforts to educate the community about the dangers of underage drinking and prescription drugs," said Bryan McCormick, project director in charge of the grant.

McCormick also is liaison between JM4C—a group focused on eliminating risky behaviors in youth—and the city of Janesville, which serves as fiscal agent for the grant.

The grant, which will be spread over five years, also will help fund training to teach coalition members how to work with schools and other organizations and to plan town hall meetings and community events, he said.

"Wisconsin has got a bit of a culture issue with the drinking," McCormick said. "We need to educate the community about the dangers of underage drinking and what it can lead to and also about the danger of prescription drug abuse.

"I think kids just aren't aware of the dangers of prescription drugs, and you hear about all these parties and kids getting together and throwing pills together and taking them," he added. "They think it's not dangerous, but certain things mixed together can be a problem."

The coalition will focus on advocacy and educating the community on these dangers, he said.

JM4C and BASE, also known as Building A Safer Evansville, were among 60 programs selected for grants from 364 applicants.



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