Yesterday I had the great honor and privilege of receiving the NJTV Everyday Heroes Award on behalf of the Partnership for a Drug-Free New Jersey. PDFNJ was recognized for its efforts in leading the statewide prevention initiative in addressing the opiate epidemic in New Jersey and throughout the country.
I received this award along with five other individuals who have, and continue to be, leaders in the fields of prevention, treatment and advocacy as New Jersey responds to the prescription drug and heroin epidemic that is impacting every community in our state. I’d like to congratulate my fellow honorees: Christopher Johnston, M.D. of Endeavor House; Ocean County Prosecutor Joseph Coronato; Parent Advocate Patty DiRenzo; Paul Ressler of TOPAC; and Stephen Stirling of New Jersey Advance Media.
Over the past year, NJ-TV has hosted a series of community forums to address New Jersey’s ongoing drug crisis and opiate epidemic.
As I stated last night in my acceptance speech, this recognition could not be possible without the love and support of my parents, who I know were looking down happily yesterday; and my family: my wife Jane, and daughters, Hannah, Mia and Marietta; my aunt and uncle, Tony and Phyllis Palombini; and my work family who were able to attend last night: Angela Conover, Jeannine Brown, Bill Lillis, and David Philemon. I also want to thank several collaborators of the Partnership who were also in attendance: Barbara Kaufman, from Morris County Prevention is Key; Paul Rotella, President & CEO of NJ Broadcasters Association; and finally I want to thank the Board of Trustees of the Partnership for Drug-New Jersey; and especially its founder, Joseph P. Miele, and Co-Chairs, Joe Miele and Elaine Pozycki. Because of each of the people I just mentioned, the Partnership for a Drug-Free New Jersey has been able to become one of the most successful non-profit organizations, not only in New Jersey, but throughout the country.
I accept this award on behalf of each of you.