BRiDGES is chamber's non-profit pick

SWAT, Students Working for Alcohol Truths, are school-based groups working on initiatives to prevent underage drinking.

BRiDGES also provides The Strengthening Families Program for parents and youth 10 to 14 years old. It's designed to improve parent/child communication and help with problem solving skills.

Madison County's Promise -- The Alliance for Youth is a partnership between youth and adults and supports community efforts in fulfilling "Five Promises" for youth: a healthy start, on going relations with caring adults, safe places with structured activities, marketable skills and opportunities to give back.

EAP or the Employee Assistance Program has served 7,000 employees within 18 businesses in Madison, Oneida, Onondaga and Cortland counties since 1989. Services include help with marital difficulties, alcohol and drug problems and depression. Employees and their families can be seen up to five times at no cost.

The state Department of Motor Vehicles Driving While Intoxicated or Driving While Ability Impaired classes are held through BRiDGES and funded by participants who attend.

Also offered at BRiDGES are smoking cessation services, community awareness and training and information and referral services.

Facilitated through BRiDGES is the coordinator of the Cazenovia Underage Drinking Task Force.

BRiDGES is funded by public and private dollars. Many of its services are provided at no or low cost and no one is turned away based on an inability to pay. The organization has secured numerous federal and state grants to continue its services to Madison County and the Central New York region.

Joining BRiDGES as this year's winners are Nice N Easy Grocery Shops (Business Award) and Ann Marie Rossi (Humanitarian Award).

The DSA banquet will be held at the Rusty Rail. Pre-sale tickets sell for $20 and can be purchased at the chamber office, Rick's Rags, Community Pharmacy and the Oneida Savings Bank. Tickets sell for $25 at the door.

For more information, call Winnie Hood at 697-3677.

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