County receives S25,000 grant to battle underage drinking

The Marion County Sub­stance Abuse Prevention Coalition was one of 17 organizations around the state to receive a grant last week from the Kansas Department for Aging and Disability Services.

The local grant was for $25,000; the 17 grants totaled $580,000 for the Kansas Prevention Collaborative Community Initiative.

“The award to the Coalition is $25,000 for the next 10 months and is targeted at preventing underage drinking and marijuana use,” said Joy Mark, director of Families and Communi­ties Together.

The money will be used to facilitate planning processes as guided by the Strategic Pre­vention Framework developed by the federal Sub­­stance Abuse and Mental Health Services Admini­stration.

KDADS, in which state­wide behavioral health supports are centered, will be providing training for Coali­tion members, Mark said.

In addition, a community mobilizer will be hired to help enlarge the membership of the Coalition by making connections in county towns and sharing the organization’s activities.

Mark said county residents are welcomed to join the Coali­tion, which meets at noon on the fourth Wed­nesday of each month at the USD 410 district office in Hillsboro.

After the 10-month planning stage, the Coalition will be eligible to apply for a three-year implementation grant.

“The Coalition is grateful to the state for this opportunity,” Mark said. “It is a time of transition for the Coali­tion as it finishes its four-year federal grant next month and its membership ichanges composition.

“This grant will help us align ourselves and be effective in planning the next stages of prevention work for the health of our county’s residents.”