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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.   

2021 Volunteer of the Year Awards

It was an honor to recognize these volunteers at our 2021 Volunteer of the Year Awards ceremony at the December 14th GCADA meeting. It was a beautiful and inspiring virtual event that celebrated the extraordinary passion and dedication of the 2021 honorees. We were also pleased to have Samantha Yannarelli from Monmouth County, the Partnership for a Drug Free New Jersey's First Place winner of the 2021 Your Song! Your Voice! Shout Down Drugs New Jersey music contest, perform her original song, "They Swore". Samantha loves all things musical and plays the guitar, piano, ukulele and saxophone.  She has a true passion for songwriting, harmonies and production and dreams of becoming a solo artist, actor and Broadway composer.

W. Cary Edwards State Volunteer Award

This year the Council also celebrated the eleventh 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 2021 Cary L. Edwards State Volunteer of the Year went to Nancy Horowitz of the Marlboro Municipal Alliance in Monmouth County. 

Nancy Horowitz was the Chairperson of the Marlboro Alliance for 30 years and a founding member of the Alliance.  Nancy passed away in August, 2021.  Nancy’s goal was for the Marlboro Municipal Alliance to be a catalyst to raise public awareness about substance use and to provide high quality prevention interventions for the community.  Through Nancy’s leadership, the Marlboro Alliance developed and implemented prevention programs and services that educate and empower all residents with the knowledge needed to safeguard and promote wellness in their community.  Her leadership and dedication to the Marlboro Alliance made a significant difference in the lives of so many.  Nancy’s commitment to the health and resilience of the Marlboro community make her a deserving recipient of the W. Cary Edwards Statewide Volunteer of the Year Award.

2021 VOY Awards Photos

2021 VOY Awards Program