HOPATCONG, NJ - A group of five people from the community have assembled and used their own money to form their own nonprofit organization, Hopatcong Against Drugs (HAD).

At a drug protest at the River Styx Grill earlier this year, protesters expressed a need to continue a grassroots community fight against drugs. One of the organizers of that protest, Robin P. Calandriello, took the initiative by starting a forum on Facebook. The Facebook page grew, so she took the next step and reached out to HAD page members to launch the organization.

Hopatcong Against Drugs participated in its first community event, the annual Halloween Parade, where the Mount Arlington Elks Lodge brought its anti-drug trailer to the park for the organization and HAD distributed the signs there for the first time, along with information regarding substance abuse to the parents attending the event. HAD continues to distribute signs through its Facebook page and through word mouth among residents of Hopatcong.

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Calandriello suggested creating lawn signs for residents to put on their property to let people know they're taking a stand against drug abuse. HAD checked with Hopatcong's zoning department regarding the requirements and was advised that the organization could display signs as long as there was no endorsement on the sign by any business. Peter Calandriello, Robin's husband, donated HAD's first order of signs, which say, “We Support A Drug Free Hopatcong! Hopatcong Against Drugs."

HAD is working on securing 501c status so that the donations are tax deductible. Anyone interested in participating or learning more information about HAD can email hopatcongagainstdrugs@live.com, or send HAD a message on its Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/HopatcongAgainstDrugs


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