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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 spread the message that "Addiction Does Not Discriminate" as reflected in our statewide public awareness/anti-stigma campaign.  This message lives in the work of the Municipal Alliances, knowing full well that addiction

2017 Volunteer of the Year Awards

It was an honor to recognize these volunteers at our 2017 Volunteer of the Year Awards ceremony at the September 20th GCADA meeting. It was a beautiful and inspiring event that celebrated the extraordinary passion and dedication of the 2017 honorees. We were also so pleased to have Jeffrey Toth from Atlantic County, one of the winners of the 2017 New Jersey Shout Down Drugs music contest, perform his original song, Today’s the Day You Walk Away. A songwriter and producer, Jeffrey also plays guitar, piano, bass, drums and ukulele. His dream is to major in songwriting in college and send his voice out to the world so that he can one day make a difference with his music.

W. Cary Edwards State Volunteer Award

This year the Council also celebrated the seventh 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 2017 Cary L. Edwards State Volunteer of the Year went to Rosemary Oarsley of the Perth Amboy Municipal Alliance in Middlesex County.

Ms. Oarsley has been a member of the Perth Amboy Municipal Alliance for over 20 years and currently serves as its chairperson. Her outstanding leadership and efforts in raising awareness about the adverse effects of alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs in her community have been very valuable to the Alliance. Ms. Oarsley has successfully formed the Municipal Alliance Prevention Summer Day Camp (MAPS). In addition to activities and trips, the camp teaches youth participants the social and decision making skills needed to pursue healthy life choices and delay the onset of risky behaviors. Ms. Oarsley has also been recognized by the Perth Amboy Chamber of Commerce as “Civic Leader of the Year”. She brings dedication, rigor and commitment to the Alliance. Ms. Oarsley’s rich contributions to her community make her a deserving recipient of the W. Cary Edwards Statewide Volunteer of the Year award.

2017 VOY Awards Photos

2017 VOY Awards Program