NEWS RELEASE


September 10, 2009
For Additional Information:
Shelly Houston, Meridian Mayor’s Office
(208) 489-0531


MERIDIAN MAYOR’S ANTI-DRUG COALITION RECEIVES NATIONAL AWARD


Meridian, ID – (September 10, 2009) – The Meridian Mayor’s Anti-Drug Coalition (MADC) will be one of only six organizations nationwide to be presented with a 2009 National Exemplary Award for Innovative Substance Abuse Prevention Programs, Practices, & Policies from the National Association of State Alcohol and Drug Abuse Directors.


The Exemplary Award honors evidence-based, state-of-the-art substance abuse prevention programs and will be presented to the MADC at the National Prevention Network’s annual Research Conference in Anaheim, California, on September 17, 2009. Along with the award, the coalition will have the opportunity to exhibit aspects of their program during the conference and will receive an unrestricted, mini-grant in the amount of $1,500.


The MADC was awarded this national honor due to its innovative and unique approach to involving community members and building partnerships. Meridian Mayor Tammy de Weerd is the founder and an active participant in the coalition, and has worked had to build a strong partnerships between the Meridian Police Department and Meridian School District in the MADC, which is very unique for coalitions in the field of substance abuse prevention.


Meridian Mayor Tammy de Weerd says, “Maintaining a safe, healthy, and drug-free atmosphere is a top priority for our city which prides itself on maintaining a heavy focus on youth and families. We look for inspiration and participation from all walks of our community to find innovative and effective ways to send the message that illegal drug and alcohol use are not welcome in Meridian.”


She adds, “It is nice for the members of the coalition to be recognized for their efforts by our peers, but as a coalition we don’t do this work for the recognition. Our true rewards come in the form of success stories – stories about youth who resist the temptations of drugs; adults who break the cycle by seeking help for their addictions; and criminals who know their drug crimes won’t be tolerated in our city and decide to move on.”


The coalition works closely with the Meridian’s Joint School District No. 2 to provide programs and funding for substance abuse prevention education directed at students and parents, including Red Ribbon Week activities, anti-drug video contests, Reach Out Now alcohol prevention education, and substance abuse education classes.


MADC Chair Judy Herman says "The Coalition offers concerned community members an opportunity to become actively involved in efforts to prevent substance abuse in our community on a grassroots level.  Coalition activities and programs bring citizens, government representatives, police, business and the Meridian School District together in partnership to educate our community about the devastating effects of substance abuse on all aspects of our community."


The MADC hosts the annual community Celebrate Recovery Breakfast, co-hosts with the police department breathalyzer education events, and presents drug and alcohol information to local businesses, civic organizations, and community groups.


Recently MADC has also received recognition awards for their Recognize program from the Association of Idaho Cities and the Northwest Alcohol Conference. Instead of focusing efforts on negative behavior, Recognize works with Meridian PAL Football coaches and Leadership 1st to honor kids making positive choices with respect to substance use.


For information about MADC programs or becoming a member of the MADC, please contact Elisha Figueroa at 846-7313. 
 

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The City of Meridian is located at the center of the Treasure Valley in southwest Idaho, minutes from the State Capitol. Founded as a farming community in 1893 and incorporated as a city in 1903, Meridian is now one of Idaho’s largest and fastest growing communities. As the home to many young families, Meridian is a vibrant community whose mission is to be a premier city to live, work and raise a family. For more information about Meridian, visit www.meridiancity.org.


The Meridian Mayor’s Anti-Drug Coalition, under the motto “Fighting for Our Families,” is a grass-roots volunteer organization dedicated to educating adults and youth about the harmful and costly direct and indirect effects of drug abuse. It was initiated by executive order from Meridian Mayor Tammy de Weerd in January 2004, in response to rising drug use in the valley and the threats it posed to Meridian’s high quality of life.