Vernon, N.J. – Vernon Coalition received the Coalition of Excellence Award for Intermediate Outcomes from CADCA (Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America), the nation’s leading youth substance use prevention organization. The Coalition of the Year award is part of CADCA’s GOT OUTCOMES! Award program, which gives national recognition to exemplary coalitions that have clearly documented their impact on population-level youth substance use outcomes. Vernon Coalition received this prestigious award on Feb. 9 during CADCA’s 2017 National Leadership Forum at the Gaylord National Hotel and Convention Center in National Harbor, Md.  

“Members and staff of the Vernon Coalition are honored to have been recognized for CADCA’s Coalition of Excellence Award!  The people of Vernon are embracing the philosophy that local problems require local solutions and together, are learning every day that not only is reducing youth substance use critical---it’s also possible. We love our kids and want to make a difference.” stated Youth Coalition Coordinator, Gemma Chalkey.

To achieve success, coalitions have to determine effective solutions to youth substance use in their community. Vernon Coalition partners, including adults and youth, who either live and/or work in Vernon, joined forces to help build a stronger Vernon for everybody.  Since 2011, this collaboration has demonstrated impact by decreasing youth 30 day use and the perception of availability of alcohol and marijuana, while increasing perception of harm of both substances and perception of parents and peer disapproval with youth use.

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“We congratulate Vernon Coalition on their outstanding work and for being true leaders in the field of youth substance use prevention. Our CADCA GOT OUTCOMES! winners exemplify the excellent work that coalitions are doing around the country to prevent and reduce drug use in their communities,” said Gen. Arthur T. Dean, CADCA’s Chairman and CEO.

In partnership with the Center for Prevention and Counseling, the Vernon Coalition is made up of individuals from different sectors representing Vernon Township School District, local businesses, law enforcement, healthcare professionals, civic and religious organizations, Vernon Township government, parents and youth, among others.  By using the Strategic Prevention Framework and evidence-based strategies and programs, the community has been able to collectively work together to make impact in the area.


According to Rebecca Dorney, Coalition Coordinator, “The safety and wellness of our youth and the Vernon community are important to everyone. All citizens across Vernon are needed to help prevent drug use and reduce its consequences among our young people. All are welcome to attend informative Coalition Meetings, which are held the 2nd Wednesday of each month.”  For questions, contact Coalition Coordinator, Rebecca Dorney at or 973-764-6619 or Youth Coalition Coordinator, Gemma Chalkley or 973-764-4276.