Natchaug River Young Marines donates to Griswold and Putnam PRIDE Programs

This article was published on: 05/31/16 6:22 PM by Mike Minarsky

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Griswold, CT June 1, 2016: The Partnership to Reduce the Influence of Drugs for Everyone, in Griswold and Putnam, received generous donations from the Natchaug River Young Marine Program out of Danielson, CT this past week. The donation was the idea of the Young Marine members, local youth ages 8-18, who recently received the DEA’s National “Kiki” Camarena Award, for Division One. This award is given to a unit who excels in Drug Prevention. The youth members chose to use their award money to give back to the two organizations that they’ve been a partner with for the last year. The missions of the PRIDE and Young Marines organizations are very similar in promoting a healthy and drug free environment for our youth, and so the youth felt that this was a perfect way to give back to both communities.

“Generous donations like this one from the Young Marines are always very much appreciated,” stated Romeo Blackmar, Putnam PRIDE Coordinator. “We need these types of funds so we can provide programs and events outside of the Drug Free Communities grants restrictions.”

“I’m very proud of these Young Marines for their decision to donate money to PRIDE. It shows their commitment toward making drug-free communities”, said Natchaug River Young Marines Unit Commander, Joe Couture.

The donation came at a perfect time for Griswold, who recently re-implemented the DARE program with Trooper Chittick and the 5th graders. The Young Marines donation will be used to off-set the costs of the DARE graduation and t-shirts for all DARE graduates. As this school year is ending, PRIDE and Trooper Chittick are already working on sustaining the DARE program for next year and years to come. Donations like this will be instrumental in keeping the program running.

“This act of kindness displays the great work that the Yong Marines do. The fact that they gave back to the community, money which they won through an award is one example of their dedication to making a difference. The importance of continuing the DARE program is instrumental in teaching our youth to make educated and informed decisions”, stated Jewett City Resident State Trooper and DARE Officer, Trooper Chittick.

If you are interested in learning more about the PRIDE organizations or donating, please contact Griswold Coordinator, Miranda Nagle, at or Putnam Coordinator, Romeo Blackmar at


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