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Essex District Attorney Selects BGCL for Opiate Prevention Grant

June 23, 2017

Essex District Attorney Jonathan W. Blodgett has selected the Boys & Girls Club of Lawrence to receive $45,000 for opiate prevention and education programs.

The Legislature earmarked a portion of the District Attorney’s budget to be used for the implementation and administration of education programs for students to prevent the use of opiates. Blodgett and Markus Fischer, executive director of the Boys & Girls Club of Lawrence, signed a Memorandum of Understanding formalizing the grant at a brief ceremony today at the club.

“The Boys & Girls Club of Lawrence is an outstanding organization that helps young people tackle a lot of difficult issues,” Blodgett said. “Their existing programs providing young people with the necessary tools to not only refrain from drug and alcohol use, but also to succeed in school and beyond, are remarkable. They are proven and they are measurably successful. For this reason, I am pleased to provide them with an additional $45,000 to help bolster and expand these excellent programs.”

“We are grateful for this grant, which will truly make a difference in helping us fulfill our mission of changing kids’ lives,” said Markus Fisher, executive director of the Boys & Girls Club of Lawrence. “It’s a sad reality that for many of our 4,400 youth members, the club and its myriad of programs and services to help them learn and grow are a respite from the drugs, crime, and poverty of their neighborhoods. These critically needed funds will enable us provide even more of the tools required for our kids to pursue academic success, make healthy choices, and become leaders of integrity and character through the relationships they build here.”

The District Attorney further commended the Boys & Girls Club of Lawrence for providing a safe haven for young people from the escalating drug problem. “While no community is immune from the scourge of drug addiction, Lawrence has been hit hard. Through no fault of their own, young people in urban areas are exposed to higher levels of drug use and its associated violence than others," he said. "With summer vacation approaching, I think it is critically important that this organization has the resources it needs to allow as many children as possible to have a safe place to go each day to simply have fun.”

Did You Know?

In the past 10 years 1,300 girls have participated in our teen-pregnancy prevention program and only two (0.2%) have become pregnant as teenagers.