SRSLY has funding for three years and ambitions to become permanent. The Coghlans hope their financial gift will give the program the time it needs to find broader backing. It already receives in-kind donations from many local businesses, including O'Neill Consulting. Eventually they hope it becomes self- supporting through donations and grants.
"Many community coalitions fade because they're parent-run and fall apart when their kids graduate," says Mike Coghlan. "My hope is that over time we get not only the buy-in of this community, but that we can take this program and replicate it in other communities."
The issues SRSLY is addressing are not unique to Chelsea. Mark Schuby, student assistance coordinator for the Saline Schools, oversees its Safe and Drug-Free Schools program and cochairs the Saline Coalition to Reduce Underage Drinking with parent Gretchen McCann.
Schuby says Saline's coalition, which includes hospitals, law enforcement, local leaders, schools, parents, and youth, is making inroads in prevention. The group receives only around $7,000 from the Judy Ivan Healthy Communities Endowment. But what it lacks in funding it makes up for in "passion and people," Schuby says. The coalition organizes pres entations about drug and alcohol use and monthly parent meetings; in May, it hosted its second annual Parenting Is Prevention conference featuring national speakers, and also held the fifteenth annual Saline Community 24-Hour Relay to raise money for its drug and alcohol prevention programs.