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Outgoing VMAC Chair Thanks Community

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The Heroes and Cool Kids program at HBW

Elizabeth Santeramo is rotating out of the leadership of the Verona Municipal Alliance Committee and sent this note of thanks:

VMAC continues its good work as an important community resource for alcohol and drug awareness, education and prevention. We thank the entire Verona community – from students to officials to business leaders – for their support and waves of good energy.

As I rotate out as chair, I am grateful for the successes and new initiatives we undertook. Last fall, The Towne Scoop donated ice cream to our kick-off social as we even treated the opposing soccer team who beat our own Verona varsity team! Restaurants love participating in our twice annual Family Night. And this past school year, VMAC offered numerous grant-paid programs in the schools for students, sending the message that they can choose to be clean and sober and still have fun, such as building self-esteem and helping others as carried out by the Heroes and Cool Kids club and the Peer Leadership group.

VMAC also brought new community programs to parents such as panel speakers from AA, Al-Anon, Alateen and Narcotics Anonymous (NA). Essex Prevention Resources also helped us bring invaluable resources around transitioning to middle school this fall and the dangers around alcopops and bath salts, the new drugs of choice. Thanks to Tom Jung, you can view the presentation on our site vmacnj.org and on veronaliving.com. Verona has three solid NA meetings, with the oldest having started 25 years ago. For times and days, visit nanj.org. And for pamphlets, visit essexpreventionresources.org. As a result of our collective outreach, four young adults realized they may have a drinking problem and asked for help.

While alcoholism and addiction still stigmatize our communities because of the shame it carries, more and more we realize that no family is perfect and as long as we are open to learning more about how we can help ourselves as well as the person afflicted, then that’s more than half the battle. Help me in supporting this year’s co-chairs, Suzanne Broullon and Chris Lawrence as VMAC brings even better programs and events to you this coming year!

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