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PRINCETON — Community Partners Against Substance Abuse began with a small group of concerned adults and parents in 2007. It’s been building ever since. This fall, CPASA Coordinator Dawn Conerton welcomed 85 people at a “get to know us” breakfast.
According to Conerton, partnering is what CPASA is all about.
“The fact that we had that many guests, who were willing to get up that early in the morning to learn more about CPASA and potentially become partners, is such an encouragement,” she said.
The breakfast was an opportunity for the community to better understand CPASA’s mission, which is to reduce substance abuse among youth in Bureau and Putnam counties.
She said CPASA was honored that state Rep. Don Moffitt (R-Gilson), state Rep. Frank Mautino (D-Spring Valley) and O.J. Stoutner, who attended on behalf of state Sen. Sue Rezin (R-Morris) were in attendance, as well as other special guests who represented schools, businesses, law enforcement, government agencies, civic organizations, the faith community and youth.
Parked outside of the entrance to the banquet hall, was a military Humvee, provided by Princeton Police Department, with a sign that read “CPASA’s War on Drugs.”
During the program, Princeton police chief Tom Root said Illinois National Guard has joined CPASA.
Specialist Travis Crossland has been attending CPASA’s monthly meetings, and at the breakfast he spoke about the National Guard’s Counterdrug Program. “The event gave all in attendance an opportunity to join in CPASA’s vision of working together to help our youth stay healthy, safe and substance free,” said John Munoz, one of CPASA’s executive board members.
Other board members who attended and assisted with the breakfast included: Coordinator Dawn Conerton, Bureau County sheriff John Thompson, Terry Madsen, Judd Lusher, Claudia Bachman, Diana Rawlings and Doria Martuzzo.
Towards the end of a presentation, Munoz recognized several CPASA members in the audience. The breakfast closed with five of Princeton High School’s youth: Aubrey Smith, Laura Behrends, Logan Wilde, Meagan Smith and Isaiah Taylor, addressing the audience. Each shared how CPASA has positively impacted their lives through various events and activities sponsored by the coalition.
The public may attend CPASA’s meetings, which are 9:30-11:30 a.m. on the third Tuesday of every month in the Bureau County Health Department’s conference room, Princeton. For more information, call (815) 872-5091, ext. 224, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.cpasa.org.
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