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Rice Announces Nearly $375K In Federal Funding to Combat Youth Substance Abuse on Long Island

U.S. Representative Kathleen Rice (NY-04) has announced that the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has awarded $125,000 to the Marion & Aaron Gural JCC in Cedarhurst, $125,000 to the Rockville Centre Youth ...

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“Preventing youth substance abuse in our communities is critical, and these grants will help us just do that,” said Rep. Kathleen Rice. “I commend the Marion & Aaron Gural JCC, the Rockville Centre Coalition for Youth, and the Family and Children’s Association for their tireless work combatting youth substance abuse and I congratulate them on winning these highly competitive federal grants.”

The DFC Program is the nation’s leading effort to mobilize communities to prevent and reduce substance abuse among youth. Created in 1997 by the Drug-Free Communities Act, the DFC Program provides grants to community coalitions to strengthen the infrastructure among local partners to create and sustain a reduction in local youth substance use.

Each grant recipient will use its funding on programming to combat youth substance abuse in the communities they serve. The Marion and Arron Gural JCC has used the DFC program to help create the Saving Lives Five Towns Community Drug Free Coalition.

“As a Gerontologist and Registered Nurse, I am very proud to see my vision coming to fruition as we have created the Saving Lives Five Towns Community Drug Free Coalition”, said Cathy Byrne, Associate Executive Director of the Marion and Aaron Gural JCC. “Prevention is a powerful instrument to counteract drug use in our community and we will use this funding to help educate parents and youth in the greater Five Towns to make healthy choices.”

“The Drug Free Communities (DFC) Grant funding will ensure The Saving Lives Five Towns Community Drug Free Coalition’s mission to keep our youth and their families safe by continuing to provide critical awareness and prevention programs that address youth mental health, alcohol, and substance misuse, ” added Susan Blauner, Director Substance Abuse Prevention, Awareness and Education at the Marion and Aaron Gural JCC.

The Family and Children’s Association will use DFC funds for the Hempstead Prevention Coalition, and the Rockville Centre Coalition for Youth will use the funding to continue its education and prevention services.

“This grant will give us a chance to sustain and extend the work of the Hempstead Prevention Coalition, a diverse and dedicated group laser-focused on reducing underage drinking and substance use in the Village of Hempstead. The stress and anxiety associated with COVID-19, coupled with the economic fallout, is fueling drug and alcohol use, so this grant comes at the perfect time,” said Jeffrey Reynolds, President and CEO of the Family and Children’s Association. “We remain grateful to Rep. Kathleen Rice and the other members of the Long Island delegation for their continued support of FCA’s programs and services for vulnerable families in our region.”

“As the Project Coordinator for the Rockville Centre Coalition for Youth, I am proud our Coalition is included in this Grant Award Announcement,” said Ruthanne McCormack, Projector Coordinator for the Coalition. “This additional 5 years of funding under the Drug-Free Communities Grant Program will enable us to continue our prevention education and fulfill our mission to plan and implement strategies to prevent and reduce youth substance use and its associated consequences.