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Published on November 22nd, 2016 | by Burlington Partnership

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BPHC Celebrates Prevention Heroes at 8th Annual Roots of Prevention Award Celebration

On October 26th, Burlington’s substance abuse prevention coalition, the Burlington Partnership for a Healthy Community (BPHC), held their 8th annual Roots of Prevention award celebration and breakfast at the ECHO Center. Approximately, 100 community members and local leaders attended this inspirational annual event that recognized outstanding individuals and programs supporting prevention and health and wellness in Burlington.

Mariah Sanderson, the Burlington Partnership’s Director said about the event, “So often we all focus on the challenges communities are having and what we need to change. We hold this event every year to give everyone space and time to acknowledge what is going well and to honor the commitment and hard work of people and organizations working every day to make Burlington a healthier and safer place to live.”

Teenagers Noah Smith and Libby Branch from BHS’s Above the Influence Burlington (ATIBTV) youth group started off the event sharing reasons they are involved in the school substance about prevention group. Two other students also part of ATIBTV, Balkisa Abdikadir and Hawa Adam, are also part of the local poetry group Muslim Girls Making Change. They read a new poem they created about the power and struggle of addiction that led the room into a standing ovation.

The event’s keynote, Martha Maksym, Executive Director of the United Way of Northwest Vermont spoke about the importance and cost benefit of putting more money and resources into substance abuse prevention if we want to see real change. Chief Brandon del Pozo shared his perspective on the role of the Burlington Police Department to support substance abuse prevention and the role of the community to support healthy norms and behaviors.
Four awards were presented to very deserving recipients:
The Outstanding Individual Award went to community volunteer Clare Wool for her time and energy to create a healthy inclusive environment in the Burlington Schools
The Youth & Families Award went to the Family Steering Committee, of the Janet S. Munt Family Room for their heroic efforts to raise over $70,000 this year to keep the Burlington Family Room open and staffed as a resource for the community.
The Outstanding Program Award was given to the CHARM Collaborative – an innovative coalition of health and social service providers working collaboratively to improve health and safety outcomes of babies born to women with a history of opiate dependence.
The DG Weaver Award was given to the Move it! Move it! Program of the Integrated Arts Academy that has helped get 540 students and 170 adults/family members involved in morning exercise to improve academic achievement.

The Burlington Partnership for a Healthy Community is now accepting award nominations for next year’s event. Help recognize organizations, programs, businesses and people who are doing important work to support youth, families, and health and wellness. The nomination form can be found here.

Want to get involved and help this amazing work in our community continue? Consider making a year-end, tax-deductible donation to BPHC. A common phrase among people working in substance abuse prevention is “prevention works!” The reason we say that is because researchers at Iowa State University found that for every $1 spent on prevention efforts, it saves $10-20 that would later have been spent on treatment, associated health costs, emergency room services, and incarceration. Truly, every gift – regardless of its size – will help us reduce youth substance abuse rates in Burlington and makes a big impact in our community’s future!

Donations can be mailed to the BPHC office, or you can donate here on our secure website. Thank you!


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