Prevention Plus of Burlington County presented awards to 15 members of the community last month for their outstanding efforts in youth substance-use prevention.
The nonprofit provides professional services for drug prevention — along with its two grant-funded drug prevention coalitions, Riverfront Coalition in Burlington City and the Burlington County Coalition for Healthy Communities (BCCHC).
The awards presentations took place after a breakfast event on April 27 at Marco’s Indian Springs in Evesham Township. The emcee of the event was Anthony Lucidonio Jr., aka Tony Luke, an entrepreneur and entertainer who lost a loved one to a substance related overdose.
Burlington County Prosecutor Scott Coffina and Evesham Mayor Jackie Veasy were also invited to speak at the awards event.
The coalition membership consists of members from 12 community sectors; awards were presented to members from each sector and the event included a presentation for the BCCHC Member of the Year.
The award recipients are:
- Dr. Holly Funkhouser Cucuzzella, health officer, Burlington County Health Department
- Donna Kaklamanos, director of student support, Rowan College of Burlington County, and Aisha Kahn, a student at Lenape Regional High School
- Nell Geiger, student assistance counselor, Bordentown High School
- Jillian Allen, executive director, Contact of Burlington County
- Anthony Faltz, student assistance counselor, Cinnaminson High School
- Dino Juliano, speech and language educator, Burlington City Schools
- Dr. Amy Dean, executive director, Willingboro’s Faith In Action
- Amanda Mackie, youth pastor, City of Refugee Fellowship, Burlington City
- Judy Lynn Schiavone, deputy chief, Mt. Laurel police department
- Chief John Fine, Burlington City Police Department
- Gary Hoffman, principal of Marlton Middle School.
- Dave Scott, Marlton Business Association.
- Dave Levinsky, public information official, Burlington County
- Elfrieda Francis, division head, Burlington County Behavioral Health and Youth Services
Allen cited the entire Contact of Burlington County team’s efforts throughout the year.
“We (at Contact of Burlington County) were very excited and surprised,” she said. “This is definitely a team effort in winning it. So many of our team attend the meetings and carry out the work in the community.
“I’m just really lucky that I get to work with them and have them follow through on the stuff that they do.”
The 2022 BCCHC Member of the Year is Curtis Myers, founder and president of Aspire Youth Development Inc. and lead pastor of The Engage Church at Westampton.
Joseph Conlin, director of community relations for Prevention Plus, explained that the nonprofit wanted a way to reward the community’s efforts to prevent substance abuse and it hopes to continue the awards on an annual basis.
“There’s long been a need to recognize people who have contributed to our agency and to our coalition,” he noted. “What helped this year is that some local businesses stepped forward and offered to sponsor the event.”
“It was wonderful to bring everyone together (at the awards event),” Conlin added. “We’re very fortunate in Burlington County to have so many people who work to keep kids drug free, and that’s really what it’s all about.”