POINT PLEASANT BEACH — The borough’s newly revived Municipal Alliance Committee [MAC] will hold a virtual spring kickoff event for Point Pleasant Beach households on April 18.
The Alliance invites residents to join its online family dinner encouraging families to put away their distractions and just talk.
“Whether it’s takeout or a home-cooked meal, the important part is just being together, hearing and seeing one another,” Alliance members said in a press release. “No pressure to have talking points or drug abuse info, just see what conversation happens naturally without phones and distractions.
“It’s never too late to start and a busy lifestyle doesn’t mean your family is destined for these risks, rather we just want to have a community platform to help with small ideas moving forward.”
Participants are asked to take a picture of their families and post them to Facebook or Instagram using @PPBMunicipalAlliance, for a chance to win a Point Pleasant Chamber $50 gift card.
“The idea with our kickoff dinner is just to try and bring everyone together as a community,” said member Kait Fortunato Greenberg, “let people know that we’re here for them and their families and their children.”
The borough’s MAC was revived in September by the borough-appointed chairwoman Arlene Testa.
The mission of the Point Pleasant Beach MAC is to address the prevalence of alcohol, tobacco and marijuana misuse and abuse through educational programming and public awareness campaigns, and encourage good mental health practices for families and the community, according to members.
The vision of the Alliance is to promote and enhance a positive, physically and mentally healthy community free of the misuse and abuse of alcohol, tobacco and marijuana, members say.
According to Ms. Greenberg, the group has eight members and two student members who have been a huge help to the group in the planning of programs.
“They’re able to kind of bring us down to reality in terms of some of the programs we’re trying to do for preventative use,” said Ms. Greenberg.
In the coming months, the group hopes to work with borough schools to bring in speakers to educate children on the effects of drugs and alcohol.
Participation in the online dinner is free. Members hope to spring community involvement in the group.
“We’d love to get more people involved and then also just to let people know that we’re a resource,” said Ms. Greenberg.
The group’s Facebook page, Facebook.com/PPBMunicipalAlliance, serves as a community source offering links to free MAC initiative resources.
New Jersey has around 400 municipal alliances.
New Jersey state and county government provide professional staff to guide the all-volunteer committees and to facilitate collaboration with county health and human services advisory bodies and the Governor’s Council on Alcohol and Drug Abuse at the state level, officials say.
The funding for Municipal Alliance Committees is derived from fines levied on convicted drug users and sellers, according to the state.
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