BERNARDS TWP., NJ - In a community which has had its share of youthful substance abuse - from underage drinking to heroin use - the Bernards Township Municipal Alliance Against Substance Abuse, or "Alliance," has been working to address the problem since 1991.

New volunteer members are now being sought for the mayoral-appointed coalition of local parents, youth, health professionals, social service workers, law enforcement, school personnel, clergy, and other concerned community leaders who support local tobacco, alcohol, and drug prevention efforts, according to the alliance

Kaitlin V. Kordusky, community program coordinator, health educator, and municipal Alliance grant coordinator, said the major goals of the organization are:

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- To educate about the damaging and addictive effects of tobacco, alcohol, and other drugs.

-  To support events and programs, which provide healthy alternatives.

- To create a community-wide presence in the identification of problems and in designing solutions.

Volunteers are currently needed to represent citizens, school, clergy, and the Parent-Teacher Organizations in town.

Responsibilities include:

-  Attending monthly evening meetings

-  Assisting with the Municipal Alliance booth for events such as the Teen Volunteer Fair, Ridge High School football game, and Charter Day

- Helping fundraise money and get sponsors for the annual Twilight Challenge 5K and health walk

Help is needed for the organization, Kordusky said. Young volunteers have also taken on the task of approaching their peers to come up with more positive alternatives to drug or alcohol abuse.

If interested, go to www.bernards.org, Quicklinks, Tap the Talent, and complete and submit the form.