Effingham Resident Wins $10,000 for Illinois Drug Prevention Volunteer Work

IADDA CEO Sara Moscato Howe

(Chicago) – Effingham resident Rob Grupe was awarded $10,000 in Chicago last Friday for his long-time volunteer work on substance abuse prevention.

Grupe received the honor from the Lillian and Larry Goodman Award for Excellence in Drug Abuse Prevention program during a symposium at Roosevelt University. The $10,000 is a gift from the Goodman Foundations.

The event was attended by Governor Pat Quinn.

Grupe, who has worked at Heartland Human Services as a prevention coordinator and a mental health counselor, volunteers with the Cebrin Goodman Teen Institute and Operation Snowball, serving as a chapter leader, for 17 years.

“Rob has dedicated his entire career to preventing young people from using alcohol, tobacco, or other drugs,” said Illinois Alcoholism and Drug Dependence Association CEO Sara Moscato Howe. “He has been serving young people for 17 years, and he deserves this recognition for his commitment and dedication.”

“Being a positive role model is one of the core values of the Cebrin Goodman Teen Institute,” said the program director Sarah Potter. “Rob is nothing short of just that. The time, energy, and effort that he gives is a perfect illustration of his selfless and giving personality.”

The private, volunteer substance abuse prevention sector is shouldering a greater burden as Illinois state government drug prevention funding has been decreased in recent years.

In fact, last year Governor Quinn proposed eliminating the entire $2.7 million state substance abuse prevention budget, but the Illinois General Assembly restored $1 million. The number of Illinois teens served by drug prevention services this year will shrink from 223,556 in fiscal year 2012 to 200,152 in fiscal year 2013, according to Howe.

“As a result of Governor Quinn’s cuts, more than 23,000 fewer Illinois teens will have access to drug prevention services and fall into the grip of drug abuse,” said Howe. “That’s just the reality.”

The founder of the Lillian and Larry Goodman Foundations, Larry Goodman, said, “Our State should be a model for keeping children healthy by funding drug prevention programs. It’s an investment in the safety and lives of our children.”

Howe noted that only five years ago Illinois spent over $7 million on youth substance abuse prevention, and state’s shrinking role is fueling a youth drug abuse epidemic.

“Illinois is in full retreat as far as Illinois teen drug prevention is concerned, and that retreat has unleashed a youth heroin epidemic in the suburbs and a crystal meth wildfire in downstate Illinois,” said Howe. “That’s the painful truth.”

Cebrin Goodman Center Grants 30 Conference Scholarships to Illinois Drug Prevention, Treatment Professionals

Mr. Larry Goodman (center) with students from Glenbard West High School’s Students for Students program.

(Springfield, IL) – August 31, 2011. The Cebrin Goodman Center, an affiliate of the Lillian and Larry Goodman Foundations, granted 30 conference scholarships to prevention and treatment professionals throughout Illinois for the 2011 Illinois Alcoholism Drug Dependence Association (IADDA) conference.

Scholarships were awarded to addiction prevention and treatment professionals with preference given to prevention providers, geographic diversity, and financial need.

“We are grateful to the Cebrin Goodman Center for their generous support of the 2011 IADDA Annual Conference,” said IADDA CEO Sara Moscato Howe. “Information gained from the conference workshops will directly benefit those who provide prevention and treatment services to Illinois’ most vulnerable populations, particularly youth.”

Scholarships cover full conference registration and hotel accommodations at the Hilton Lisle/Naperville.

Established in 2007, the Cebrin Goodman Center, located in Skokie, Illinois, is committed to helping young people fulfill their potential as happy, healthy contributing members of society. The often tragic consequences of drug use, abuse, and addiction are a powerful threat to the realization of that goal, according to the Center.

Effective prevention efforts are crucial if we hope to shield future generations from the false promises of the drug experience and the unfortunate paths far too many have chosen. The Cebrin Goodman Center supports ongoing partnerships with organizations whose expertise, vision, and passion uniquely position them to help young people develop the strengths to resist the formidable lure of drugs.

The IADDA conference, Designing the Future is scheduled for September 7–9 at the Hilton Lisle/Naperville.

The conference scholarship winners are: