1/8/2013 9:20:00 PM Coalition to reach out with new website
Marney Simon Staff writer
The members of the Braidwood Area Healthy Communities Coalition (BAHCC) are diving into 2013.
The local coalition, which aims to educate the public and create preventive strategies to fight drug and alcohol abuse in the area, is looking to launch its new website soon. The new site is one of several priorities of the coalition, which ended 2012 on a positive note following state funding and the start of several training sessions for its members.
The BAHCC formed several years ago, but was limited to little more than a monthly brainstorming session for some time due to financial limitations. But last year, with the support of Chestnut Health Systems, the non-profit group that has helped the coalition to organize and grow, the BAHCC received $75,000 grant from the state of Illinois. That money is being used for planning activities and prevention strategies to fight drug and alcohol abuse in and around Braidwood. Once those strategies are in place, the coalition will be in a position to seek additional funds.
The coalition's grant funding is used to train its members for prevention strategies which target the Braidwood area's specific problems. Over the next several months, the coalition will complete the prevention system and substance abuse strategic plan. If the group is able to secure additional money, they'll be able to implement programs, activities, and strategies that will impact change and help strengthen the community from the inside out.
Adding the website is just one way to seek out that public involvement.
"We're excited to get everything ready with the website," said Peter Dell'Aquilla, the BAHCC Project Coordinator through Chestnut Health Systems.
Rather than opt for a generic site, the coalition is seeking bids from web designers to help them put together the site. Applicants are asked to contribute in accordance with the BAHCC mission: To provide the Braidwood area with a more safe and drug free environment. The coalition will take applicants through the end of the month, and finalists may be asked to do a presentation.
Information on where to receive a proposal form and criteria for applicants can be found on page 5B of this week's newspaper.
The BAHCC includes as members representatives from the Braidwood City Council, the Braidwood Police Department and the Braidwood Fire Protection District. Those local leaders have taken an active role in the coalition, and are encouraging the public to follow their lead.
The BAHCC meets the second Monday of each month at 4:30 p.m. at the Braidwood fire house on Main Street. The meetings are open to the public. The next meeting is Monday, Jan. 14