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Each year the Council recognizes Volunteers of the Year for exemplary service to the State's Alliance to Prevent Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Program. The grassroots network of Alliances and its volunteers are more critical than ever in helping to communicate and execute the systems necessary to evoke environmental change in communities across New Jersey. 

Their voice, energy, and commitment are powerful and necessary as we undertake the critical work of the Council and continue to demonstrate that "It Doesn't Get More Local", as reflected in our statewide Municipal Alliance logo.   

2020 Volunteer of the Year Awards

It was an honor to recognize these volunteers at our 2020 Volunteer of the Year Awards ceremony at the December 15th GCADA meeting. It was a beautiful and inspiring virtual event that celebrated the extraordinary passion and dedication of the 2020 honorees. We were also pleased to have Shannon Harrington from Ocean County, the Partnership for a Drug Free New Jersey's First Place winner of the 2020 Your Song! Your Voice! Shout Down Drugs New Jersey music contest, perform her original song, Gonna Be Drug Free. Shannon is a singer/songwriter who plays guitar, harmonica and mandolin.  A junior in high school, she is Co-Founder of a community outreach program, called Broadway ArtsReach, which promotes music education.    

W. Cary Edwards State Volunteer Award

This year the Council also celebrated the tenth year of honoring the W. Cary Edwards State Volunteer of the Year Award recipient. 

It was Cary's vision to create a network of community-based efforts to address alcoholism and drug abuse, the Alliance to Prevent Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Program, and a dedicated fund for it, the Drug Enforcement and Demand Reduction Fund.  Cary's vision has been replicated throughout the United States and resulted GCADA's Alliance to Prevent Alcoholism and Drug Abuse being the largest network of anti-drug coalitions in the nation. 

The 2020 Cary L. Edwards State Volunteer of the Year went to John M. Grabowski, Sr. of the Colts Neck Municipal Alliance in Monmouth County. 

In 1991, John M. Grabowski, Sr. was instrumental in the founding of the Colts Neck Municipal Alliance in Monmouth County.   He served as the Treasurer of the Municipal Alliance for 20 years and also served on the Alliance Fund-Raising Committee.   John’s enthusiasm for prevention made him a force in the Colts Neck community.   He was always ready to roll up his sleeves to help with all Alliance programs and projects.   His most distinguished roll was as the caretaker of the bonfire at the Municipal Alliance Candlelight Vigil each year.   Sadly, John passed on April 22, 2020 of cancer.   His fellow Alliance members stated that “he will be missed but Alliance members take solace in remembering his passion and love of helping people.”  John’s commitment to the health and resilience of the Colts Neck community made him a deserving recipient of the W. Cary Edwards Statewide Volunteer of the Year Award.  

2020 VOY Awards Photos

2020 VOY Awards Program

2020 VOY Awards Ceremony Video