Posted Thursday, December 29th, 2011

The Governor’s Council on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse has approved 2012 grant awards totaling $3.71 million to nine counties, including a $521,328 grant to Morris.

The county grants will help fund Municipal Alliances to Prevent Alcoholism and Drug Abuse.

Municipal Alliances are volunteer organizations that plan and develop community and evidence-based addiction prevention strategies and programs as well as public education and awareness activities at the local level.

The 34 Municipal Alliances in Morris County are among a network of more than 400 in the state. John Hulick, acting director of the Governor’s Council on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse, said New Jersey’s Alliances network is the largest in the nation, with 7,000 volunteers serving in more than 530 municipalities.

According to Hulick, the Alliances in 2011 provided nearly 3,500 school and community-based programs and activities.

In Morris County, those programs and activities include Project Graduation; a Peer Leadership program; the Giraffe Project, which targets youngsters in kindergarten through 5th grade; Anti-Bullying programs; an annual countywide Prevention Forum for parents and their teenagers; a “Natural High” evening of ice skating; and a Yoga for Seniors program for senior citizens.

The activities are overseen and coordinated by the Morris County Department of Human Services under the authority of the county’s Mental Health-Substance Abuse Advisory Board.

The 2012 grant awards will ensure that the Alliances remain an integral part of the state’s overall addiction prevention strategies, allowing them to continue to lead efforts to address alcoholism and drug abuse in communities throughout the state, Hulick said.

Grant recipients are required to match the grants from the Governor’s Council with a cash-match of 25 percent of the award and 75 percent in-kind services. The Morris County Board of Chosen Freeholders also supplies additional County funding to supplement innovative Alliance programs in municipalities who make application.

Additional information about the Morris County Municipal Alliances may be obtained by contacting Steve Nebesni, Morris County Municipal Alliance Coordinator, at 973-285-6860 or at [email protected]