CLARK, NJ – Two documentary filmmakers, Manny Oliveira and Alejandro Gomez, were recently recognized for their contributions to “Not Even Once,” a new drug opioid awareness education program commissioned by the Clark Police Department.
At last Monday’s Town Council Meeting, Clark Police Chief Pedro Matos and Mayor Sal Bonaccorso honored Oliveira’s and Gomez’s contributions to the program, which will be implemented in Arthur L. Johnson High School beginning next fall. “I’m touched that you guys put so much effort into this […] and [that] you donated all of [your time],” said Matos as he presented the pair with a plaque.
Mayor Sal Bonaccorso commended the two filmmakers as well: “[I’d like to] thank Manny and Alex on behalf of myself and on behalf of the township, but more importantly, all the citizens [and] the children of Clark.”
Oliveira and Gomez filmed and edited a video interview with Jose Lanza, a Clark resident who lost his son, Joseph Lanza, as a result of opioid addiction. In the video, Jose Lanza tells his son’s story with hopes that it will resonate with others who are affected by addiction and its consequences.
Oliveira and Gomez recognize the importance of telling a story like this. Gomez told TAPinto Clark that he and Oliveira had hoped “to be able to help out an individual who sees this video” and may be going through a similar situation.
The film will be used as part of a drug education program to be instituted at Arthur L. Johnson High School in the upcoming school year. The #NOTEVENONCE opiate drug awareness program began at the Manchester Township Police Department. The mission of the curriculum is to inform high school students about the hazards of opiates before they enter college or the work force.
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